Polymorphism in the Innate Immune Receptor SIRPα Controls CD47 Binding and Autoimmunity in the Nonobese Diabetic Mouse
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The signal regulatory protein (SIRP) locus encodes a family of paired receptors that mediate both activating and inhibitory signals and is associated with type 1 diabetes (T1D) risk. The NOD mouse model recapitulates multiple features of human T1D and enables mechanistic analysis of the impact of genetic variations on disease. In this study, we identify Sirpa encoding an inhibitory receptor on myeloid cells as a gene in the insulin-dependent diabetes locus 13.2 (Idd13.2) that drives islet inflammation and T1D. Compared to T1D-resistant strains, the NOD variant of SIRPα displayed greater binding to its ligand CD47, as well as enhanced T cell proliferation and diabetogenic potency. Myeloid cell-restricted expression of a Sirpa transgene accelerated disease in a dose-dependent manner and displayed genetic and functional interaction with the Idd5 locus to potentiate insulitis progression. Our study demonstrates that variations in both SIRPα sequence and expression level modulate T1D immunopathogenesis. Thus, we identify Sirpa as a T1D risk gene and provide insight into the complex mechanisms by which disease-associated variants act in concert to drive defined stages in disease progression.
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