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UMMS Researchers Isolate Immune Cells From the Islets of Donors with Type 1 Diabetes

Congratulations to our nPOD Investigators on developing the first large bank of islet-infiltrating T cells isolated from the islets of human donors with T1D


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From left, Megan DeNicola, Sally Kent, Jenny Aurielle Babon and David Harlan. Photo by UMass Medical School.

WORCESTER, MA – In a highly collaborative effort, scientists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School have isolated and characterized a large bank of live islet-infiltrating T cells directly from the islets of tissue donors with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). Published in Nature Medicine, the findings have direct implications for the design of therapies and preventative strategies for those with T1D and those at-risk for developing it.

Using live islets from nine type 1 diabetic donors, the largest cohort studied thus far, nPOD Investigator Dr. Sally Kent and her team sorted live lymphocytes from the islets by fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS), and also used an improved tissue culture method they developed to grow lymphocytes from the islets. Overall, they were able to derive 236 T cell lines from the islets and analyze the function of 50 lines, discovering the specific reactivities of 18 lines.

This work is the result of a collaborative effort of of many investigators around the world, including those in nPOD’s Autoimmunity Working Group. Congratulations to all involved on this significant achievement.

Read the entire UMass Press Release here.

Read more about nPOD’s Working Groups here.

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