Researchers from the University of Florida recently harvested umbilical cord T cells in the hopes that they can later aid in diabetes treatment. These regulatory T cells, which are also called Treg cells, are believed to control the immune system and could prevent the development of certain autoimmune diseases. When frozen and multiplied, it is thought that they could be used for later treatment of type 1 diabetes.
Treg cells can be used to repair an imbalance in the function or number of specific immune cells, which is believed to be a factor in type 1 diabetes development. Additionally, cells used from the umbilical cord are safer and more efficient than the use of Tregs from other areas in the body, as those cells existed prior to the development of diabetes.
These findings were published in Molecular Therapy on March 21, 2017.