The Review of Diabetic Studies,2009,6,2,104-116.
The NOD mouse strain is a well characterized model of type 1 diabetes that shares several of the characteristics of Ets1- deficient targeted mutant mice, viz: defects in TCR allelic exclusion, susceptibility to a lupus like disease characterized by IgM and IgG autoantibodies and immune complexmediated glomerulonephritis, and deficiencies of NK and NKT cells. Here, we sought evidence for allelic variation of Ets1 in mice contributing to the NK and NKT cell phenotypes of the NOD strain. ETS1 expression in NK and NKT cells was reduced in NOD mice, compared to C57BL/6 mice. Although NKT cells numbers were significantly correlated with ETS1 expression in both strains, NKT cell numbers were not linked to the Ets1 gene in a first backcross from NOD to C57BL/6 mice. These results indicate that allelic variation of Ets1 did not contribute to variation in NKT cell numbers in these mice. It remains possible that a third factor not linked to the Ets1 locus controls both ETS1 expression and subsequently NK and NKT cell phenotypes.