nPOD. Immunology

Human T cell repertoire profiling in Type 1 Diabetes

Current strategies of studying islet autoantigen-specific T cells rely heavily on fluorescence labeled tetramers and are limited in the throughput of antigens that can be analyzed simultaneously. The profile of islet autoantigen-specific T cells that can be obtained is limited. We recently developed a new technology, Tetramer associated TCR sequencing (TetTCR-Seq), that is capable of de novo generating a large amount of peptides and mapping antigen recognition with single cell TCR sequences by DNA barcoded tetramers. It enables us to quickly survey T cell repertoire at single cell level for a large number of peptides. Meanwhile, simultaneous profiling of gene/protein expression at single cell level helps to provide a comprehensive evaluation of antigen-specific T cell repertoire. We propose to apply this novel technology to study islet autoantigen-specific T cells in T1D. By investigating islet autoantigen-specific T cells in different tissues from nPOD, including spleen, pancreatic draining lymph node, and irrelevant draining lymph nodes, we will characterize the antigen-specific TCR repertoire and disease-specific transcriptional signatures. We believe this will help us to gain deeper understandings of the onset of T1D, the cause of immune dysregulation and potentially develop new markers for the diagnosis and the treatment of T1D.

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