Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease caused by the T cell-mediated destruction of the pancreatic insulin-producing beta cells. Currently there are no widely accepted and standardized assays available to analyse the function of autoreactive T cells involved in T1D. The development of such an assay would greatly aid efforts to understand the pathogenesis of T1D and is also urgently required to guide the development of antigen-based therapies intended to prevent, or cure, T1D. Here we describe some of the assays used currently to detect autoreactive T cells in human blood and review critically their strengths and weaknesses. The challenges and future prospects for the T cell assays are discussed.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Immunology in the medical area