What antigens/epitopes are recognized by islet-infiltrating CD8+ T cells in people with type 1 diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease caused by the combined actions of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells against the insulin-secreting beta cells found in the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. While CD4+ T cells are the principal regulators of the (auto)immune response, CD8+ T cells are believed to be the primary ‘killers’ of beta cells in type 1 diabetes. However, the antigens/epitopes that are ‘seen’ by pathogenic CD8+ T cells are not defined. This is an important question because knowledge of the targets of CD8+ T cells is essential for the development of new therapies to prevent type 1 diabetes. In addition, this is a major gap in our understanding of human autoimmunity in type 1 diabetes.
In addition to SVI Top-Up Scholarships, students working on this project may be eligible for top-up awards from the Australian Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
A/Prof Stuart Mannering
Type 1 diabetes
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