Certain class II major histocompatibility alleles confer disease risk for type 1 diabetes (T1D). Insulin-specific and other autoantibodies often precede T1D development, but major efforts at disease prevention using insulin preparations (subcutaneous, oral, and intranasal) to induce tolerance have not been effective. Measuring insulin-specific T-cell responses from the peripheral blood has been a challenging feat but would allow for assessment of therapeutic response in these trials. In our study, we report CD4 T-cell responses to a mutated insulin B-chain peptide in new-onset and established T1D as well as control subjects dependent on HLA-DQ genotype. Our results have important implications for the application and monitoring of insulin-specific therapies to prevent diabetes onset.
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