Numerous investigation have demonstrated that T cells are involved in destruction of beta cells in the NOD mouse, a widely studied model of type I diabetes. In this report we describe a series of islet-specific T cell lines established from islet-infiltrating lymphocytes obtained from individual pre-diabetic NOD mice as well as a large panel of clones derived from these lines. Proliferation assays indicated that these nominally islet-specific lines responded vigorously to porcine insulin. Furthermore, of 40 islet-specific clones derived from lines established from 12-week-old mice, 22 (55%) responded to insulin. A similar analysis of islet-specific clones established from 7-week-old mice indicated that 2 of 14 (14%) were insulin specific. These findings demonstrate that insulin-specific T cells can comprise a major portion of the spontaneously arising T cell response to islets in NOD mice.