SDF-1-CXCR4 differentially regulates autoimmune diabetogenic T cell adhesion through ROBO1-SLIT2 interactions in mice.

PMID 23811810


We had previously reported that stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF-1) mediates chemorepulsion of diabetogenic T cell adhesion to islet microvascular endothelium through unknown mechanisms in NOD mice. Here we report that SDF-1-mediated chemorepulsion occurs through slit homologue (SLIT)2-roundabout, axon guidance receptor, homologue 1 (Drosophila) (ROBO1) interactions. C-X-C receptor (CXCR)4 and ROBO1 protein expression was measured in mouse and human T cells. Parallel plate flow chamber adhesion and detachment studies were performed to examine the molecular importance of ROBO1 and SLIT2 for SDF-1-mediated T cell chemorepulsion. Diabetogenic splenocyte transfer was performed in NOD/LtSz Rag1(-/-) mice to examine the effect of the SDF-1 mimetic CTCE-0214 on adoptive transfer of diabetes. CXCR4 and ROBO1 protein expression was elevated in diabetic NOD/ShiLtJ T cells over time and coincided with the onset of hyperglycaemia. CXCR4 and ROBO1 expression was also increased in human type 1 diabetic T cells, with ROBO1 expression maximal at less than 1 year post diagnosis. Cell detachment studies revealed that immunoneutralisation of ROBO1 prevented SDF-1-mediated chemorepulsion of NOD T cell firm adhesion to TNFα-stimulated islet endothelial cells. SDF-1 increased NOD T cell adhesion to recombinant adhesion molecules, a phenomenon that was reversed by recombinant SLIT2. Finally, we found that an SDF-1 peptide mimetic prevented NOD T cell adhesion in vitro and significantly delayed adoptive transfer of autoimmune diabetes in vivo. These data reveal a novel molecular pathway, which regulates diabetogenic T cell recruitment and may be useful in modulating autoimmune diabetes.