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OBJECTIVE - There are variable reports of risk of concordance for progression to islet autoantibodies and type 1 diabetes in identical twins after one twin is diagnosed. We examined development of positive autoantibodies and type 1 diabetes and the effects of genetic factors and common environment on autoantibody positivity in identical twins, nonidentical twins, and full siblings.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - Subjects from the TrialNet Pathway to Prevention Study ( = 48,026) were screened from 2004 to 2015 for islet autoantibodies (GAD antibody [GADA], insulinoma-associated antigen 2 [IA-2A], and autoantibodies against insulin [IAA]). Of these subjects, 17,226 (157 identical twins, 283 nonidentical twins, and 16,786 full siblings) were followed for autoantibody positivity or type 1 diabetes for a median of 2.1 years.
RESULTS - At screening, identical twins were more likely to have positive GADA, IA-2A, and IAA than nonidentical twins or full siblings (all < 0.0001). Younger age, male sex, and genetic factors were significant factors for expression of IA-2A, IAA, one or more positive autoantibodies, and two or more positive autoantibodies (all ≤ 0.03). Initially autoantibody-positive identical twins had a 69% risk of diabetes by 3 years compared with 1.5% for initially autoantibody-negative identical twins. In nonidentical twins, type 1 diabetes risk by 3 years was 72% for initially multiple autoantibody-positive, 13% for single autoantibody-positive, and 0% for initially autoantibody-negative nonidentical twins. Full siblings had a 3-year type 1 diabetes risk of 47% for multiple autoantibody-positive, 12% for single autoantibody-positive, and 0.5% for initially autoantibody-negative subjects.
CONCLUSIONS - Risk of type 1 diabetes at 3 years is high for initially multiple and single autoantibody-positive identical twins and multiple autoantibody-positive nonidentical twins. Genetic predisposition, age, and male sex are significant risk factors for development of positive autoantibodies in twins.
© 2018 by the American Diabetes Association.
OBJECTIVE - We tested the ability of a type 1 diabetes (T1D) genetic risk score (GRS) to predict progression of islet autoimmunity and T1D in at-risk individuals.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - We studied the 1,244 TrialNet Pathway to Prevention study participants (T1D patients' relatives without diabetes and with one or more positive autoantibodies) who were genotyped with Illumina ImmunoChip (median [range] age at initial autoantibody determination 11.1 years [1.2-51.8], 48% male, 80.5% non-Hispanic white, median follow-up 5.4 years). Of 291 participants with a single positive autoantibody at screening, 157 converted to multiple autoantibody positivity and 55 developed diabetes. Of 953 participants with multiple positive autoantibodies at screening, 419 developed diabetes. We calculated the T1D GRS from 30 T1D-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms. We used multivariable Cox regression models, time-dependent receiver operating characteristic curves, and area under the curve (AUC) measures to evaluate prognostic utility of T1D GRS, age, sex, Diabetes Prevention Trial-Type 1 (DPT-1) Risk Score, positive autoantibody number or type, HLA DR3/DR4-DQ8 status, and race/ethnicity. We used recursive partitioning analyses to identify cut points in continuous variables.
RESULTS - Higher T1D GRS significantly increased the rate of progression to T1D adjusting for DPT-1 Risk Score, age, number of positive autoantibodies, sex, and ethnicity (hazard ratio [HR] 1.29 for a 0.05 increase, 95% CI 1.06-1.6; = 0.011). Progression to T1D was best predicted by a combined model with GRS, number of positive autoantibodies, DPT-1 Risk Score, and age (7-year time-integrated AUC = 0.79, 5-year AUC = 0.73). Higher GRS was significantly associated with increased progression rate from single to multiple positive autoantibodies after adjusting for age, autoantibody type, ethnicity, and sex (HR 2.27 for GRS >0.295, 95% CI 1.47-3.51; = 0.0002).
CONCLUSIONS - The T1D GRS independently predicts progression to T1D and improves prediction along T1D stages in autoantibody-positive relatives.
© 2018 by the American Diabetes Association.
We report a case of severe type I hyperlipoproteinemia caused by autoimmunity against lipoprotein lipase (LPL) in the context of presymptomatic Sjögren's syndrome. A 7-year-old mixed race (Caucasian/African American) girl was admitted to the intensive care unit at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital with acute pancreatitis and shock. She was previously healthy aside from asthma and history of Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Admission triglycerides (TGs) were 2191 mg/dL but returned to normal during the hospital stay and in the absence of food intake. At discharge, she was placed on a low-fat, low-sugar diet. She did not respond to fibrates, prescription fish oil, metformin, or orlistat, and during the following 2 years, she was hospitalized several times with recurrent pancreatitis. Except for a heterozygous mutation in the promoter region of LPL, predicted to have no clinical significance, she had no further mutations in genes known to affect TG metabolism and to cause inherited type I hyperlipoproteinemia, such as APOA5, APOC2, GPIHBP1, or LMF1. When her TG levels normalized after incidental use of prednisone, an autoimmune mechanism was suspected. Immunoblot analyses showed the presence of autoantibodies to LPL in the patient's plasma. Autoantibodies to LPL decreased by 37% while patient was on prednisone, and by 68% as she subsequently transitioned to hydroxychloroquine monotherapy. While on hydroxychloroquine, she underwent a supervised high-fat meal challenge and showed normal ability to metabolize TG. For the past 3 years and 6 months, she has had TG consistently <250 mg/dL, and no symptoms of, or readmissions for, pancreatitis.
Copyright © 2017 National Lipid Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Susceptibility and protection against human autoimmune diseases, including type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and Goodpasture disease, is associated with particular human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles. However, the mechanisms underpinning such HLA-mediated effects on self-tolerance remain unclear. Here we investigate the molecular mechanism of Goodpasture disease, an HLA-linked autoimmune renal disorder characterized by an immunodominant CD4 T-cell self-epitope derived from the α3 chain of type IV collagen (α3). While HLA-DR15 confers a markedly increased disease risk, the protective HLA-DR1 allele is dominantly protective in trans with HLA-DR15 (ref. 2). We show that autoreactive α3-specific T cells expand in patients with Goodpasture disease and, in α3-immunized HLA-DR15 transgenic mice, α3-specific T cells infiltrate the kidney and mice develop Goodpasture disease. HLA-DR15 and HLA-DR1 exhibit distinct peptide repertoires and binding preferences and present the α3 epitope in different binding registers. HLA-DR15-α3 tetramer T cells in HLA-DR15 transgenic mice exhibit a conventional T-cell phenotype (T) that secretes pro-inflammatory cytokines. In contrast, HLA-DR1-α3 tetramer T cells in HLA-DR1 and HLA-DR15/DR1 transgenic mice are predominantly CD4Foxp3 regulatory T cells (T cells) expressing tolerogenic cytokines. HLA-DR1-induced T cells confer resistance to disease in HLA-DR15/DR1 transgenic mice. HLA-DR15 and HLA-DR1 healthy human donors display altered α3-specific T-cell antigen receptor usage, HLA-DR15-α3 tetramer Foxp3 T and HLA-DR1-α3 tetramer Foxp3CD25CD127 T dominant phenotypes. Moreover, patients with Goodpasture disease display a clonally expanded α3-specific CD4 T-cell repertoire. Accordingly, we provide a mechanistic basis for the dominantly protective effect of HLA in autoimmune disease, whereby HLA polymorphism shapes the relative abundance of self-epitope specific T cells that leads to protection or causation of autoimmunity.
A major therapeutic goal for type 1 diabetes (T1D) is to induce autoantigen-specific tolerance of T cells. This could suppress autoimmunity in those at risk for the development of T1D, as well as in those with established disease who receive islet replacement or regeneration therapy. Because functional studies of human autoreactive T cell responses have been limited largely to peripheral blood-derived T cells, it is unclear how representative the peripheral T cell repertoire is of T cells infiltrating the islets. Our knowledge of the insulitic T cell repertoire is derived from histological and immunohistochemical analyses of insulitis, the identification of autoreactive CD8 T cells in situ, in islets of human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A2 donors and isolation and identification of DQ8 and DQ2-DQ8 heterodimer-restricted, proinsulin-reactive CD4 T cells grown from islets of a single donor with T1D. Here we present an analysis of 50 of a total of 236 CD4 and CD8 T cell lines grown from individual handpicked islets or clones directly sorted from handpicked, dispersed islets from nine donors with T1D. Seventeen of these T cell lines and clones reacted to a broad range of studied native islet antigens and to post-translationally modified peptides. These studies demonstrate the existence of a variety of islet-infiltrating, islet-autoantigen reactive T cells in individuals with T1D, and these data have implications for the design of successful immunotherapies.
The asymptomatic phase of type 1 diabetes is recognised by the presence of beta cell autoantibodies in the absence of hyperglycaemia. We propose that an accurate description of this stage is provided by the name 'Autoimmune Beta Cell Disorder' (ABCD). Specifically, we suggest that this nomenclature and diagnosis will, in a proactive manner, shift the paradigm towards type 1 diabetes being first and foremost an immune-mediated disease and only later a metabolic disease, presaging more active therapeutic intervention in the asymptomatic stage of disease, before end-stage beta cell failure. Furthermore, we argue that accepting ABCD as a diagnosis will be critical in order to accelerate pharmaceutical, academic and public activities leading to clinical trials that could reverse beta cell autoimmunity and halt progression to symptomatic insulin-requiring type 1 diabetes. We recognize that there are both opportunities and challenges in the implementation of the ABCD concept but hope that the notion of 'asymptomatic autoimmune disease' as a disorder will be widely discussed and eventually accepted.
Tregs are essential for maintaining peripheral tolerance, and thus targeting these cells may aid in the treatment of autoimmunity and cancer by enhancing or reducing suppressive functions, respectively. Before these cells can be harnessed for therapeutic purposes, it is necessary to understand how they maintain tolerance under physiologically relevant conditions. We now report that transcription factor Kruppel-like factor 2 (KLF2) controls naive Treg migration patterns via regulation of homeostatic and inflammatory homing receptors, and that in its absence KLF2-deficient Tregs are unable to migrate efficiently to secondary lymphoid organs (SLOs). Diminished Treg trafficking to SLOs is sufficient to initiate autoimmunity, indicating that SLOs are a primary site for maintaining peripheral tolerance under homeostatic conditions. Disease severity correlates with impaired Treg recruitment to SLOs and, conversely, promotion of Tregs into these tissues can ameliorate autoimmunity. Moreover, stabilizing KLF2 expression within the Treg compartment enhances peripheral tolerance by diverting these suppressive cells from tertiary tissues into SLOs. Taken together, these results demonstrate that peripheral tolerance is enhanced or diminished through modulation of Treg trafficking to SLOs, a process that can be controlled by adjusting KLF2 protein levels.
Efforts to restore β-cell number or mass in type 1 diabetes (T1D) must combine an intervention to stimulate proliferation of remaining β-cells and an intervention to mitigate or control the β-cell-directed autoimmunity. This review highlights features of the β-cell, including it being part of a pancreatic islet, a mini-organ that is highly vascularized and highly innervated, and efforts to promote β-cell proliferation. In addition, the β-cell in T1D exists in a microenvironment with interactions and input from other islet cell types, extracellular matrix, vascular endothelial cells, neuronal projections, and immune cells, all of which likely influence the β-cell's capacity for replication. Physiologic β-cell proliferation occurs in human and rodents in the neonatal period and early in life, after which there is an age-dependent decline in β-cell proliferation, and also as part of the β-cell's compensatory response to the metabolic challenges of pregnancy and insulin resistance. This review reviews the molecular pathways involved in this β-cell proliferation and highlights recent work in two areas: 1) Investigators, using high-throughput screening to discover small molecules that promote human β-cell proliferation, are now focusing on the dual-specificity tyrosine-regulated kinase-1a and cell cycle-dependent kinase inhibitors CDKN2C/p18 or CDKN1A/p21as targets of compounds to stimulate adult human β-cell proliferation. 2) Local inflammation, macrophages, and the local β-cell microenvironment promote β-cell proliferation. Future efforts to harness the responsible mechanisms may lead to new approaches to promote β-cell proliferation in T1D.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Autoantibody against glomerular basement membrane (GBM) plays a direct role in the initiation and development of Goodpasture's (GP) disease. The principal autoantigen is the non-collagenous domain 1 (NC1) of α3 chain of collagen IV, with two immunodominant epitopes, EA-α3 and EB-α3. We recently demonstrated that antibodies targeting α5NC1 are bound to kidneys in GP patients, suggesting their pathogenic relevance. In the present study, we sought to assess the pathogenicity of the α5 autoantibody with clinical and animal studies. Herein, we present a special case of GP disease with circulating autoantibody reactive exclusively to the α5NC1 domain. This autoantibody reacted with conformational epitopes within GBM collagen IV hexamer and produced a linear IgG staining on frozen sections of human kidney. The antibody binds to the two regions within α5NC1 domain, EA and EB, and inhibition ELISA indicates that they are targeted by distinct sub-populations of autoantibodies. Sequence analysis highlights five residues that determine specificity of antibody targeting EA and EB epitopes of α5NC1 over homologous regions in α3NC1. Furthermore, immunization with recombinant α5NC1 domain induced crescentic glomerulonephritis and alveolar hemorrhage in Wistar-Kyoto rats. Thus, patient data and animal studies together reveal the pathogenicity of α5 antibodies. Given previously documented cases of GP disease with antibodies selectively targeting α3NC1 domain, our data presents a conundrum of why α3-specific antibodies developing in majority of GP patients, with α5-specific antibodies emerged in isolated cases, the answer for which is critical for understanding of etiology and progression of the GP disease.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) mediates B cell signaling and is also present in innate immune cells but not T cells. BTK propagates B cell receptor (BCR) responses to antigen-engagement as well as to stimulation via CD40, toll-like receptors (TLRs), Fc receptors (FCRs) and chemokine receptors. Importantly, BTK can modulate signaling, acting as a "rheostat" rather than an "on-off" switch; thus, overexpression leads to autoimmunity while decreased levels improve autoimmune disease outcomes. Autoreactive B cells depend upon BTK for survival to a greater degree than normal B cells, reflected as loss of autoantibodies with maintenance of total antibody levels when BTK is absent. This review describes contributions of BTK to immune tolerance, including studies testing BTK-inhibitors for treatment of autoimmune diseases.