ELISPOT and FluoroSpot in Autoimmune Diseases

ELISPOT and diabetes

ELISPOT and FluoroSpot assay in studying autoimmune diseases

ELISPOT assays are among the most sensitive and specific methods available for the detection of both T cell and B cell responses. Major advantages of the ELISPOT and dual-color FluoroSpot assay are the relatively rapid and easy performance, the high sensitivity and the potential for high throughput screening.

The high sensitivity of the ELISPOT assay is particularly useful in autoimmune studies, as autoreactive T and B cell responses typically have much lower frequencies than viral and vaccine-associated immune responses.

For example, in type 1 diabetes, chronic autoimmune diseases leading to selective destruction of insulin producing β-cells, T cells play a key role. However, detection of these lymphocytes is difficult. Fortunately, cytokine secretion by autoantigen reactive T cells can be demonstrated in individual cells using the ELISPOT or dual-color FluoroSpot assay, allowing preclinical diagnoses and immune surrogate end points for clinical trials.1,2,3,4,5

Autoreactive B cell responses are evident in systemic autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematous (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). For example, CD19high cells are expanded in patients with SLE and can be detected by the Human IgG B cell ELISPOT assay.6

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Examples of studies using our ELISPOT and FluoroSpot assays:

Click on the authors for the abstract of the below mentioned acticles or find them in our Reference Database.


  1. Arif S et al. (2022). Evaluating T cell responses prior ro the onset of type 1 diabetes. Diabet. Med. 39(9): e14860.
  2. Énée E et al. (2012). ZnT8 is a major CD8+ T cell-recognized autoantigen in pediatric type 1 diabetes. Diabetes 61: 1779-1784.
  3. Mannering SI et al. (2010). Current approaches to measuring human islet-antigen specific T cell function in type 1 diabetes. Clin. Exp. Immunol. 162: 197-209.
  4. Mao R et al. (2023). Oral delivery of bi-autoantigens by bacterium-like particles (BLPs) against autoimmune diabetes in NOD mice. Drug Deliv. 30(1): 2173339.
  5. Tang W et al. (2021). Diagnostic value of combined islet antigen-reactive T cells and autoantibodies assays for type 1 diabetes mellitus. J. Diabetes Investig. 12: 963-969.
  6. Liu Z et al. (2017). Peripheral CD19 B cells exhibit activated phenotype and functionality in promoting IgG and IgM production in human autoimmune diseases. Sci. Rep. 7(1): 13921.