Drivers of CD8 T cells exhaustion in autoimmunity

It is clear that CD8 T cell exhaustion is detrimental in cancer and is driven by chronic antigen, inhibitory receptors, and suppressive cytokines; while blockade of inhibitory receptors and activation with IL-2 can reinvigorate exhausted cells. Whether these same factors influence CD8 T cell exhaustion in autoimmunity is not well understood. We are investigating the role of cytokines, beta cell antigens, and genetic risk alleles on CD8 T cell exhaustion in T1D and related Rheumatic autoimmune diseases.

CD8+ T cell function may predict type 1 diabetes progression