Helena Reijonen, PhD
Research Assistant Member
Helena Reijonen received her PhD at the University of Turku in Finland in 1994. She joined Dr. Gerald Nepom’s laboratory at Benaroya Research Institute in 1996 as a post-doctoral fellow. In 2000, she became a JDRF Career Development Awardee, and since 2005 she has been a Research Assistant Member at BRI.
Areas of Research
The precise nature of the T lymphocyte response in Type 1 diabetes, and the regulation of this response, is one of the key barriers to a full understanding of autoimmune predisposition, disease progression and the rational design of T cell immunotherapy. Our research projects aim at improving the understanding of the diversity of the immune cell repertoire that is responsible for the destruction or protection of insulin-producing beta cells.
Yang J, Danke NA, Berger D, Reichstetter S, Reijonen H, Greenbaum C, Pihoker C, James EA and Kwok WW. Islet-specific glucose-6-phosphatase catalytic subunit-realted protein-reactive CD4+ T cells in human subjects. J Immunol 2006; 176(5):2781-9.
Öling V, Marttila J, Ilonen J, Kwok WW, Nepom GT, Knip M, Simell O and Reijonen H. GAD65- and Proinsulin-Specific CD4+ T-Cells Detected by MHC Class II Tetramers in Peripheral Blood of Type 1 Diabetes Patients and At-Risk Subjects. J Autoimmunity 2005, Nov; 25(3):235-43.
Mallone R, Kochik SA, Reijonen H, Carson B, Ziegler SF, Kwok W and Nepom GT. Functional avidity directs T-cell fate in autoreactive CD4+ T-cells. Blood 2005; 106:2798-2805.
Gebe JA, Masewicz SA, Kochik SA, Reijonen H and Nepom GT. Inhibition of altered peptide ligand-mediated antagonism of human GAD65-responsive CD4+ T cells by non-antagonizable T cells. Eur J Immunol 2004; 34(12):3337-45.
Reijonen H, Heninger A-K, Laughlin EM, Kochik SA, Falk BA, Kwok WW, Greenbaum C and Nepom GT. GAD65 specific CD4+ T cells with high antigen avidity are prevalent in peripheral blood of Type 1 diabetes patients. Diabetes 2004; 53:1987-94.
Mallone R, Kochik SA, Laughlin EM, Gersuk VH, Reijonen H, Kwok WW, Nepom GT. Differential recognition and activation thresholds in human autoreactive GAD-specific T-cells. Diabetes 2004; 53:971-7.
Reijonen H and Concannon P. Genetics of Type 1 Diabetes. In Joslin Diabetes Mellitus, 2004.
Gebe JA, Falk BA, Rock KA, Kochik SA, Heninger A-K, Reijonen H, Kwok WW and Nepom GT. MHC-peptide recognition by self-antigen specific CD4+ T-cells is a low avidity interaction. Eur J Immunol 2003; 33:1409-17.
Reijonen H, Kwok WW and Nepom GT. Detection of CD4+ autoreactive T-cells in T1D using HLA class II tetramers. NYAS 6th IDS: Immunology in Diabetes II, Ann Ny Acad Sci 2003; 1005:82-87.
Reijonen H and Kwok WW. Use of HLA class II tetramers in tracking antigen-specific T-cells and mapping of T-cell epitopes. Methods 2003; 29:282-8.
Buckner JH, Holzer U, Novak EJ, Reijonen H, Kwok WW, Nepom GT. Defining antigen-specific responses with human MHC class II tetramers. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2002; 110:199-208.
Reijonen H, Novak EJ, Kochik S, Heninger A, Liu AW, Kwok WW, Nepom GT. Detection of GAD65 specific T-cells by Major Histocompatibility Complex Class II tetramers in Type 1 diabetic patients and at-risk subjects. Diabetes 2002; 51:1375-82.
Nepom GT, Buckner JH, Novak EJ, Reichstetter S, Reijonen H, Gebe J, Wang R, Swanson E, Kwok WW. HLA class II tetramers: tools for direct analysis of antigen-specific CD4+ T cells. Arthritis Rheum 2002; 46:5-12.
Reijonen H, Daniels TL, Lernmark ?, Nepom GT. GAD65-specific autoantibodies enhance the presentation of an immunodominant T-cell epitope from GAD65. Diabetes 2000; 49:1621-1626.
Reijonen H, Elliott JF, van Endert P, Nepom G. Differential presentation of glutamic acid decarboxylase 65 (GAD65) T cell epitopes among HLA-DRB1*0401 positive individuals. J Immunol 1999; 163:16674-1681.
Kwok WW, Reijonen H, Falk BA, Koelle DM, Nepom GT. Peptide binding affinity and pH variation establish functional thresholds for activation of HLA-DQ-restricted T cell recognition. Hum Immunol 1999; 60:619-626.