Researchers at the Cleveland Cord Blood Center (CCBC) are studying T cells from the umbilical cord blood of healthy newborn babies. The T cells from newborn babies are unique in that they have very strong T regulatory capacity in order to provide immune tolerance between the baby and the mother during pregnancy.
The CCBC researchers are taking the cell biology knowledge gained from investigating neonatal immune tolerance and applying it to treat patients with Type 1 Diabetes. Currently CCBC researchers are conducting pre-clinical studies to verify that Tregs from umbilical cord blood can safely suppress the abnormal T cell attack on the pancreas islet cells that occurs in Type 1 Diabetes patients. It is anticipated that this intervention would be most effective when the patient is recently diagnosed. If the Tregs can stop the auto-immune attack on the patient’s insulin-producing islet cells in the pancreas, this will allow beta cell recovery, and improvement or resolution of the diabetes. To learn more about cord blood banking, visit Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Foundation at