October 2015

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nPOD Investigator Newsletter

nPOD Update
Check out nPOD Executive Director, Dr. Mark Atkinson, providing an update on the progress of nPOD at ADA 2015.
Connect with us on social media and help spread the word about the important work nPOD and our Investigators are doing!
Helmsley Cellular Hub Launch
New resources are available for the T1D research community

The Helmsley Cellular Research Hub was established as part of a Type 1 Diabetes coalition comprised of the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University, the New York Stem Cell Foundation and the University of Florida Diabetes Institute, with funding support from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. The goal of the Helmsley Cellular Research Hub is to promote a greater understanding of type 1 diabetes and accelerate new potential therapies to treat the disease.
Thanks to the support of the Helmsley Charitable Trust, a number of somatic and pluripotent cell lines obtained from well-phenotyped type 1 diabetes patients and suitable controls/patients with other forms of diabetes are now available to qualified research scientists.
For more information, please see their website ( There, you will have the ability to review the available samples catalog and should you have questions, please contact the Helmsley Cellular Hub. They welcome comments and suggestions regarding this resource.
Recent Islet Case - nPOD 6342
nPOD team isolates 27,000 islets from short-duration T1D donor

It began with a call from an nPOD Investigator alerting us to a potential donor for nPOD. The donor met the criteria for our Islet Isolation Pilot Project: a 14-year-old girl with a two-year duration of T1D. Due to staff scheduling issues, the primary nPOD islet isolation center (Institute of Cellular Therapeutics, Allegheny Health Network) was unavailable. The nPOD team sprang into action to coordinate the isolation at the newly established back-up site at the University of Miami. In a flurry of phone calls and emails, working through the night and against a number of obstacles, the team was able to procure the organs and tissues and arrange their delivery to the Miami islet isolation center; in the meantime, the OPPC team put together a mobile lab and drove to Miami to work on the histology of this case. Even though the pancreas was very small, the team was able to isolate over 27,000 islets from this very special donor. nPOD would like to offer a sincere thank you to both the donor's family, and to everyone who worked so tirelessly to bring this important case into the nPOD repository. 

In the end, the 27,000 islets were distributed to the six labs participating in the Islet Pilot Project. Our Investigators are working hard to study these precious islets. Immunohistchemistry examination on this case (nPOD 6342) showed insulitis in numerous islets, which are enlarged with nuclear pleomorphism. Additionally, both insulin-positive and insulin-negative islets and acinar regions have moderately increased Ki67 expression


Insulitis and insulin+ islets in a young organ donor (14 years old, 2 years duration type 1 diabetes, nPOD 6342). The lower panel shows a section from the pancreas head region stained by Ki67 and Insulin with numerous insulin+ islets. The boxed islet is shown in the upper panels using 4 stains to demonstrate numerous islet beta cells, Ki67+ cells in both islet and acinar region, and insulitis (CD45+, CD3+) as well as delta (somatostatin) and alpha (glucagon) cells. 
Transplant Case 
From David Harlan - nPOD 3005

nPOD receives pancreata from T1D transplant donor
nPOD friend Dr. David Harlan recently connected us with a T1D autopsy donor, of 20 years duration, who had received a pancreas transplant a year before. nPOD was able to receive and process both the transplant and native organs (nPOD 3005). Histopathology on both organs is still pending. This contribution brings the total of transplant cases in the nPOD collection up to 12. We'd like to say a big thank-you to the donor's family, and to Dr. Harlan, for assisting nPOD in receiving these important organs!
Thanks Dr. Kent!

Dr. Sally Kent generously agreed to donate human T1D pancreatic tissues under her possession to nPOD, after being approached by our staff. It took Dr. Kent at least two full days to painstakingly go through her freezers and storage to gather, file, and report to nPOD. In the end, Sally sent some of her samples, which had previously been processed in FFPE block, frozen in OCT media, and snap frozen in tubes. Tissue quality is being evaluated by the OPPC team, and if determined suitable, we will make the tissue available to nPOD Investigators. Thank you again, Dr. Kent, for subscribing to nPOD's culture of sharing! 

If you have samples you would like to share with nPOD, please contact us. The more samples that are studied by Investigators, the better understanding we will have as to the pathogenesis of this debilitating disease, and the sooner we can find a cure!

OPO Liaison and Organ Donor Development Coordinator
Kurt Reis, BA, CTP, will serve as nPOD's new OPO Liaison and Organ Donor Development Coordinator. Kurt received his Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from Hiram College. Prior to that, he trained as a Surgical Technologist at the Naval School of Health Science in Bethesda, Maryland. Before joining the nPOD team, he had worked in the OPO industry for over 10 years, most recently serving as the Senior Organ Preservation Coordinator and Research Coordinator for an Ohio OPO. He is a Certified Transplant Preservationist and a member of the International Society for Organ Preservation as well as the Organ Donation Research Consortium. Welcome Kurt!
'Of Mice and Men: How the nPOD Program is Changing the Way Researchers Study Type 1 Diabetes'

nPOD Executive Director, Dr. Mark Atkinson, was recently interviewed for an article in DiaTribe. Click here to see what he has to say about how nPOD is helping to make the "leap from mice models of 'cures' to therapies that work in actual humans."

Urocortin3 mediates somatostatin-dependent negative feedback control of insulin secretion

On September 22, Dr. Mark Huising, of the UCDavis College of Biologic Sciences, presented a Webinar on data from his research, which was recently published in Nature Medicine. Click here to view the entire Webinar.
ABSTRACT: The peptide hormone urocortin3 (Ucn3) is abundantly expressed by mature beta cells, yet its physiological role is unknown. Here we demonstrate that Ucn3 is stored and co-released with insulin and potentiates glucose-stimulated somatostatin secretion via cognate receptors on delta cells. Further, we found that islets lacking endogenous Ucn3 have fewer delta cells, reduced somatostatin content, impaired somatostatin secretion, and exaggerated insulin release, and that these defects are rectified by treatment with synthetic Ucn3 in vitro. Our observations indicate that the paracrine actions of Ucn3 activate a negative feedback loop that promotes somatostatin release to ensure the timely reduction of insulin secretion upon normalization of plasma glucose. Moreover, Ucn3 is markedly depleted from beta cells in mouse and macaque models of diabetes and in human diabetic islets. This suggests that Ucn3 is a key contributor to stable glycemic control, whose reduction during diabetes aggravates glycemic volatility and contributes to the pathophysiology of this disease.
Congratulations to the following Investigators who have been awarded funds from the Helmsley Charitable Trust George S. Eisenbarth nPOD Award for Team Science!
  • Extracellular Matrix (ECM) Group: "Extracellular Matrix in the Pathogenesis of Human Type 1 Diabetes"
    • Thomas Wight, PhD & Marika Bogdani, MD, PhD; Benaroya Research Institute
    • Eva Korpos, PhD & Lydia Sorokin, PhD; University of Münster
    • Charmaine Simeonovic, PhD & Christopher Parish, PhD; The Australian National University
  • Mary Markiewicz, PhD; University of Kansas Medical Center: "NKG2D Ligand Expression in T1D Development"
  • Nora Sarvetnick, PhD; University of Nebraska Medical Center: "Pancreatic Antibacterial Responses in T1D"
  • Martha Campbell-Thompson, PhD; University of Florida: "Beta Cell Regeneration for Type 1 Diabetes"
  • Emmanuel Zorn, PhD; Columbia University: "Immunoregulation of Type 1 Diabetes"
nPOD publications now exceed 100!

Review all nPOD publications here.

Nadine Nagy, Gernot Kaber, Pamela Y. Johnson, John A. Gebe, Anton Preisinger, Ben A. Falk, Vivekananda G. Sunkari, Michel D. Gooden, Robert B. Vernon, Marika Bogdani, Hedwich F. Kuipers, Anthony J. Day, Daniel J. Campbell, Thomas N. Wight, and Paul L. Bollyky. (2015) Inhibition of hyaluronan synthesis restores immune tolerance during autoimmune insulitis. The Jounal of Clinical Investigation. 2015 September 14. doi:10.1172/JCI79271.

Campbell-Thompson ML, Kaddis JS, Wasserfall C, Haller MJ, Pugliese A, Schatz DA, Shuster JJ, Atkinson MA. (2015) The influence of type 1 diabetes on pancreatic weight. Diabetologia.. 2015 Sep 10. [Epub ahead of print].

Campbell-Thompson M, Rodriguez-Calvo T, Battaglia M. (2015) Abnormalities of the Exocrine Pancreas in Type 1 Diabetes. Current Diabetes Reports.. 2015 Oct;15(10):653. doi: 10.1007/s11892-015-0653-y.

Burch TC, Morris MA, Campbell-Thompson M, Pugliese A, Nadler JL, Nyalwidhe JO. (2015) Proteomic Analysis of Disease Stratified Human Pancreas Tissue Indicates Unique Signature of Type 1 Diabetes.PLOS ONE. 2015 Aug 24;10(8):e0135663. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0135663.

Taniguchi K, Russell MA, Richardson SJ, Morgan NG. (2015) The subcellular distribution of cyclin-D1 and cyclin-D3 within human islet cells varies according to the status of the pancreas donor. Diabetologia. 2015 Sep;58(9):2056-63. doi: 10.1007/s00125-015-3645-1. Epub 2015 Jun 9.

Sun J, Furio L, Mecheri R, van der Does AM, Lundeberg E, Saveanu L, Chen Y, van Endert P, Agerberth B, Diana J. (2015). Pancreatic β-Cells Limit Autoimmune Diabetes via an Immunoregulatory Antimicrobial Peptide Expressed under the Influence of the Gut Microbiota. Immunity. 2015 Aug 3. pii: S1074-7613(15)00302-7. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2015.07.013. [Epub ahead of print]

Campbell-Thompson M. (2015) Organ donor specimens: What can they tell us about type 1 diabetes?Pediatric Diabetes. 2015 Aug;16(5):320-30. doi: 10.1111/pedi.12286. Epub 2015 May 22.

Robert Z. Harmsa, Danielle N. Yardea, Zachary Guinna, Kristina M. Lorenzo-Arteagaa, Kevin P. Corleyb, Monina S. Cabrerab, Nora E. Sarvetnick. (2015) Increased expression of IL-18 in the serum and islets of type 1 diabetics. Molecular Immunology. 2015 April. doi: 10.1016/j.molimm.2014.12.012.

Jutta E. Laiho, Sami Oikarinenemail, Maarit Oikarinenemail, Pär Larssonemail, Virginia M. Stoneemail, Didier Hoberemail, Steven Obersteemail, Malin Flodström-Tullbergemail, Jorma Isolaemail, Heikki Hyötyemail. (2015) Application of bioinformatics in probe design enables detection of enteroviruses on different taxonomic levels by advanced in situ hybridization technology. Journal of Clinical Virology. 2015 Jun 23. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2015.06.085.

Bogdani M, Simeonovic C, Nagy N, Johnson PY, Chan CK, Wight TN. (2015) The detection of glycosaminoglycans in pancreatic islets and lymphoid tissues. Methods in Molecular Biology. 2015;1229:413-30. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-1714-3_32.


Abstract submissions due by October 15th, 2015

Don't forget! The deadline for abstract submission for the 2016 JDRF nPOD Annual Scientific Meeting is October 15th, 2015. We encourage every nPOD Investigator to submit abstracts of research utilizing nPOD resources. Please use this template to prepare abstracts and email them to Amanda Myers

The Annual Meeting will be held February 21-24, 2016 at the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay in Miami, Florida. Registration information can be found on the nPOD website.

We look forward to receiving your abstracts and to seeing you at the meeting!
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, or if you wish to UNSUBSCRIBE from this list, please send an email to Amanda Myers,JDRF nPOD Investigator Coordinator, at

Thank you, Investigators, for all the important work you do!
Copyright © 2015 Network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with Diabetes (nPOD), All rights reserved.

nPOD is a collaborative type 1 diabetes research project funded by JDRF. We support scientific investigators by providing, without cost, rare and difficult to obtain tissues beneficial to their research. nPOD currently supports over 120 type 1 diabetes-related scientific studies at institutions around the world. Our hope is that nPOD will prove a useful resource to the community of researchers dedicated to finding a cure for type 1 diabetes. For more information, please visit or write us at