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Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a chronic multi-factorial disorder characterized by the immune-mediated destruction of insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells. Variations at a large number of genes influence susceptibility to spontaneous autoimmune T1D in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice, one of the most frequently studied animal models for human disease. The genetic analysis of these mice allowed the identification of many insulin-dependent diabetes (Idd) loci and candidate genes, one of them being Cd101. CD101 is a heavily glycosylated transmembrane molecule which exhibits negative-costimulatory functions and promotes regulatory T (Treg) function. It is abundantly expressed on subsets of lymphoid and myeloid cells, particularly within the gastrointestinal tract. We have recently reported that the genotype-dependent expression of CD101 correlates with a decreased susceptibility to T1D in NOD.B6 Idd10 congenic mice compared to parental NOD controls. Here we show that the knockout of CD101 within the introgressed B6-derived Idd10 region increased T1D frequency to that of the NOD strain. This loss of protection from T1D was paralleled by decreased Gr1-expressing myeloid cells and FoxP3+ Tregs and an enhanced accumulation of CD4-positive over CD8-positive T lymphocytes in pancreatic tissues. As compared to CD101+/+ NOD.B6 Idd10 donors, adoptive T cell transfers from CD101-/- NOD.B6 Idd10 mice increased T1D frequency in lymphopenic NOD scid and NOD.B6 Idd10 scid recipients. Increased T1D frequency correlated with a more rapid expansion of the transferred CD101-/- T cells and a lower proportion of recipient Gr1-expressing myeloid cells in the pancreatic lymph nodes. Fewer of the Gr1+ cells in the recipients receiving CD101-/- T cells expressed CD101 and the cells had lower levels of IL-10 and TGF-β mRNA. Thus, our results connect the Cd101 haplotype-dependent protection from T1D to an anti-diabetogenic function of CD101-expressing Tregs and Gr1-positive myeloid cells and confirm the identity of Cd101 as Idd10.

Original publication




Journal article


PLoS genetics

Publication Date





Mikrobiologisches Institut-Klinische Mikrobiologie, Immunologie und Hygiene, Universitätsklinikum Erlangen and Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany.


Pancreas, Lymph Nodes, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Myeloid Cells, Animals, Mice, Inbred NOD, Mice, Knockout, Humans, Mice, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Antigens, CD, Antigens, Ly, Gene Expression Regulation, Haplotypes, T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory