UNIT 15.12 Induction of Autoimmune Disease by Depletion of Regulatory T Cells

  1. Steve Simmonds,
  2. Don Mason

Published Online: 1 MAY 2001

DOI: 10.1002/0471142735.im1512s30

Current Protocols in Immunology

Current Protocols in Immunology

How to Cite

Simmonds, S. and Mason, D. 2001. Induction of Autoimmune Disease by Depletion of Regulatory T Cells. Current Protocols in Immunology. 30:15.12:15.12.1–15.12.5.

Author Information

  1. University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 MAY 2001
  2. Published Print: APR 1999


Organ-specific autoimmune diseases can be induced in rodents that do not normally spontaneously develop autoimmunity by using procedures that render the animals partially T cell deficient. Using a protocol of adult thymectomy followed by four doses of sublethal gamma irradiation, insulin-dependent diabetes can be induced in normal PVG.RT1u rats, an inbred congenic strain that has the same major histocompatibility complex (MHC) allotype as the spontaneously diabetic BB rat. Onset of the disease ranges from 3 to 18 weeks after the final dose of irradiation, with 98% of male and 70% of female animals becoming diabetic. This unit describes the induction of insulin-dependent diabetes in the rat. A modified protocol allows for the induction of a more severe form of the disease.