Slow progressors to type 1 diabetes lose islet autoantibodies over time, have few islet antigen-specific CD8+ T cells and exhibit a distinct CD95hi B cell phenotype.

The aim of this study was to characterise islet autoantibody profiles and immune cell phenotypes in slow progressors to type 1 diabetes.Immunological variables were compared across peripheral blood samples obtained from slow progressors to type 1 diabetes, individuals with newly diagnosed or long-standing type 1 diabetes, and healthy individuals. Polychromatic flow cytometry was used to characterise the phenotypic attributes of B and T cells. Islet autoantigen-specific B cells were quantified using an enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISpot) assay and islet autoantigen-specific CD8+ T cells were quantified using peptide-HLA class I tetramers. Radioimmunoassays were used to detect islet autoantibodies. Sera were assayed for various chemokines, cytokines and soluble receptors via ELISAs.Islet autoantibodies were lost over time in slow progressors. Various B cell subsets expressed higher levels of CD95 in slow progressors, especially after polyclonal stimulation, compared with the corresponding B cell subsets in healthy donors (p

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