Helena Reijonen, PhD
Helena Reijonen received her PhD at the University of Turku in Finland after which she joined Dr. Gerald Nepom’s laboratory at the Benaroya Research Institute (BRI) as a post-doctoral fellow. In 2005 she became Research Assistant Member at BRI.
Area 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 rational design of T cell immunotherapy. Dr. Reijonen's 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.
Vendrame F, Hopfner Y-Y, Diamantopoulos S, Virdi SK, Allende G, Snowhite IV, Reijonen HK, Chen L, Ruiz P, Ciancio G, Hutton JC, Messinger S, Burke GW III, and Vendrame F, Hopfner Y-Y, Diamantopoulos S, Virdi SK, Allende G, Snowhite IV, Reijonen HK, Chen L, Ruiz P, Ciancio G, Hutton JC, Messinger S, Burke GW III, and Pugliese A. Risk factors for type 1 diabetes recurrence in immunosuppressed recipients of simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplants. Am J Transplant 2015 Aug 28. [Epub ahead of print].
Pugliese A, Vendrame F, Reijonen H, Atkinson MA, Campbell-Thompson M, and Burke GW. New insight on human type 1 diabetes biology: nPOD and nPOD-transplantation. Curr Diab Rep 2014; 14(10):530-538.
Matthis J and Reijonen H. Production of primary human CD4(+) T cell lines and clones. Methods Mol Biol 2013; 960:545-555.
Schubert DA, Gordo S, Sabatino JJ Jr, Vardhana S, Gagnon E, Sethi DK, Seth NP, Choudhuri K, Reijonen H, Nepom GT, Evavold BD, Dustin ML, and Wucherpfennig KW. Self-reactive human T cell clones form unusual immunological synapses. J Exp Med 2012; 209(2):335-352.
Oling V, Reijonen H, Simell O, Knip M, Ilonen J. Autoantigen-specific memory CD4(+) T cells are prevalent early in progression to type 1 diabetes. Cell Immunol 2012; 273(2):133-139.
Hänninen A, Soilu-Hänninen M, Hampe CS, Deptula A, Geubtner K, Ilonen J, Knip M, and Reijonen H. Characterization of CD4+ T cells specific for glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD65) and proinsulin in a patient with stiff-person syndrome but without type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Metab Res Rev 2010; 26(4):271-279.
Öling V, Geubtner K, Ilonen J, and Reijonen H. A low antigen dose selectively promotes expansion of high avidity autoreactive T cells with distinct phenotypic characteristics: A study of human autoreactive CD4+ T cells specific for GAD65. Autoimmunity 2010; .
Herold KC, Brooks-Worrell B, Palmer J, Dosch HM, Peakman M, Gottlieb P, Reijonen H, Arif S, Spain LM, Thompson C, Lachin JM, and Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet Research Group. Validity and reproducibility of measurement of islet autoreactivity by T-cell assays in subjects with early type 1 diabetes. Diabetes 2009; 58(11):2588-2595.
Martin-Pagola A, Sisino G, Allende G, Dominguez-Bendala J, Gianani R, Reijonen H, Nepom GT, Ricordi C, Ruiz P, Sageshima J, Ciancio G, Burke GW, and Pugliese A. Insulin protein and proliferation in ductal cells in the transplanted pancreas of patients with type 1 diabetes and recurrence of autoimmunity. Diabetologia. 2008; 51(10):1803-1813.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.