San Diego Biomedical Research Institute San Diego

San Diego, United States

San Diego Biomedical Research Institute San Diego

San Diego, United States
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Bashratyan R.,Scripps Research Institute | Regn D.,Scripps Research Institute | Rahman M.J.,Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies | Marquardt K.,Scripps Research Institute | And 6 more authors.
European Journal of Immunology | Year: 2017

Secreted microvesicles (MVs) are potent inflammatory triggers that stimulate autoreactive B and T cells, causing Type 1 Diabetes in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice. Proteomic analysis of purified MVs released from islet cells detected the presence of endogenous retrovirus (ERV) antigens, including Env and Gag sequences similar to the well-characterized murine leukemia retroviruses. This raises the possibility that ERV antigens may be expressed in the pancreatic islets via MV secretion. Using virus-like particles produced by co-expressing ERV Env and Gag antigens, and a recombinant gp70 Env protein, we demonstrated that NOD but not diabetes-resistant mice developed anti-Env autoantibodies that increase in titer as disease progresses. A lentiviral-based RNA interference knockdown of Gag revealed that Gag contributes to the MV-induced T-cell response, whose diabetogenic function can be demonstrated via cell-transfer into immune-deficient mice. Finally, we observed that Gag and Env are expressed in NOD islet-derived primary mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). However, MSCs derived from the islets of diabetes-resistant mice do not express the antigens. Taken together, abnormal ERV activation and secretion of MVs may induce anti-retroviral responses to trigger autoimmunity. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

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