Antibodies against H1N1 influenza virus cross-react with α-cells of pancreatic islets

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Epidemiological studies have documented that the incidence of human type 1 diabetes was significantly increased after H1N1 epidemic. However, a direct link between human type 1 diabetes and virus infection remains elusive. We generated 84 clones of murine monoclonal antibodies against the H1N1, and carried out immunohistochemistry in normal human tissue microarray. The results showed that two clones specifically cross-reacted with human α-cells of pancreatic islets. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and deoxyribonucleic acid sequencing showed that the amino acid sequences of light and heavy chains of these clones were different. Importantly, the expression profiles of two monoclonal antibodies were individual different. For the first time, we provide direct evidence that monoclonal antibodies against H1N1 can cross-react with human pancreas α-cells, another source of β-cells, suggesting α-cells might be a novel target to be investigated in diabetes research.

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