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T-CELL WORKSHOP UPDATE

Phases 1 and 2 of the 2nd T cell WS have been completed recently.

In phase 1, reproducibility of T cell proliferation assays for a given recall antigen (tetanus toxoid, TT) was examined at numerous centres in Europe, USA and Australia. Results indicate that several centres perform assays that are highly discriminative and highly reproducible. In phase 2, recombinant preparations of human islet autoantigens (GAD65, proinsulin and IA-2) were collected and examined for quality using a range of different analyses, including endotoxin content, ability to stimulate specific T cell clones, and non-specific inhibitory effects. Several preparations performed well in these quality assessments, and have been used as a platform for the 3rd WS, in which recombinant islet antigens are distributed in coded form to laboratories for evaluation of assays potentially capable of discriminating islet antigen-specific T cell responses. Distribution to 7 centres has been made so far, employing a range of assays including proliferation of whole and fractionated (memory) peripheral blood mononuclear cells, direct cytokine measurement, cytokine mRNA quantification and cytokine ELISpot analysis. Data from 4 centres has been made available and will be presented at the Workshop in Chennai.

Bart Roep e-mail:
Mark Atkinson e-mail:
Margo Honeyman e-mail:
Mark Peakman e-mail: