We describe the phenotypic characteristics of animals in the fifth backcross-intercross generation of a breeding program in which the RT1 u haplotype and the phenotypic trait responsible for the T-lymphopenia of BB rats have been transferred to the ACI background. In this generation of animals, 24% were lymphopenic with decreased numbers of PBL expressing CD5, TCRα, and RT6. The PBL of the lymphopenic animals had a decreased mitogenic response to ConA. All of the nonlymphopenic animals were homozygous for RT6.2. Phenotypic analysis of intestinal IEL revealed that this was also the case for the lymphopenic animals. Moreover, IEL of the lymphopenic animals exhibited a pattern of staining (increased numbers of TCRαβ+CD4+CD8+ and decreased numbers of TCRαβ+CD4CD8+) similar to that of BB DP animals. The ACI.1U(BB)-lymphopenic animals, although having two of the genetic traits associated with the expression of spontaneous diabetes mellitus, uniformly fail to develop diabetes. Breeding studies in which these animals were crossed with BB and hBB rats suggest that other genes are necessary for development of overt diabetes.

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