ARTICLE | Targets & Mechanisms

Not a peripheral story

Beyond peripheral autoimmunity in Type I diabetes

December 1, 2016 1:59 AM UTC

By sourcing T cells directly from the pancreatic islets of Type I diabetes patients, rather than the standard method of taking blood samples, an academic team has provided an unprecedented view into the molecules that drive the autoimmune disease. The results indicate there are dozens, if not hundreds, of new antigens yet to be characterized, with each one providing another chance at invoking the long-sought strategy of antigen-specific tolerance.

Virtually all studies of the antigens fueling Type I diabetes in humans have come from investigating self-damaging T cells in blood samples. That raises the question of whether the full repertoire of the cells and the pancreatic antigens they recognize might be larger than what can be observed outside the organ. ...