Lymphocyte activation in type 1 diabetes mellitus: The increased significance of Kv1.3 potassium channels

Gergely Toldi, Barna Vásárhelyi, Ambrus Kaposi, Gergo Mészáros, Pál Pánczél, Nóra Hosszufalusi, Tivadar Tulassay, András Treszl

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Kv1.3 and IKCa1 potassium channels participate in the maintenance of calcium-influx during lymphocyte activation. Kv1.3 channels have a prominent role in specific T cell subsets, presenting a possible target for selective immunomodulation. We investigated the impact of Kv1.3 and IKCa1 channel inhibitors on calcium-influx characteristics in human T cells in type 1 diabetes mellitus. We isolated lymphocytes from 9 healthy and 9 type 1 diabetic individuals and measured the alteration of calcium-influx with flow cytometry in the Th1, Th2, CD4 and CD8 subsets after treatment of samples with specific channel inhibitors. Our results indicate an increased reactivity of type 1 diabetes lymphocytes, which is correlated to their increased sensitivity to Kv1.3 channel inhibition. However, the contribution of Kv1.3 channels to calcium flux is not exclusive for a specific lymphocyte subset as previous reports suggest, but is characteristic for each subset investigated. Therefore, the proposed inhibition of Kv1.3 channels as a novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of type 1 diabetes mellitus may have a major effect on overall lymphocyte function in this disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-41
Number of pages7
JournalImmunology letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2010


  • Calcium-influx
  • Kv1.3 potassium channel
  • Lymphocyte activation
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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