The BDC 2.5 T cell clone is specific for pancreatic beta-cell antigen presented by I-Ag7, and greatly accelerates diabetes when injected into 10-21-d-old nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice. The BDC 2.5 T cell receptor (TCR) has been solubilized as a TCR-IgG1 chimeric protein. All NOD mice immunized against BDC 2.5 TCR-IgG1 produced antibodies recognizing TCR C alpha/C beta epitopes that were inaccessible on the T cell surface. 56% of the mice produced antibodies against the BDC 2.5 clonotype that specifically blocked antigen activation of BDC 2.5 cells. We have used the adoptive transfer model of diabetes to demonstrate that maternal immunization with soluble TCR protects young mice from diabetes induced by the BDC 2.5 T cell clone.

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