Altered frequency and function of peripheral invariant NKT (iNKT) cells have been implicated in the regulation of murine and human type 1a diabetes. To examine regulatory cells from the site of drainage of autoinflammatory tissue and autoantigenic T cell priming in diabetes, we directly cloned iNKT cells from human pancreatic draining lymph nodes (PLN). From 451 T cell clones from control and diabetic PLN, we derived 55 iNKT cells by two methods and analyzed function by cytokine secretion. iNKT cell clones isolated from control PLN secreted IL-4 and IFN-γ upon TCR stimulation. For type 1a diabetic subjects, PLN iNKT cell clones from three samples secreted IFN-γ and no IL-4. In a rare recent onset diabetic sample with islet-infiltrating CD4 + T cells, the phenotype of PLN iNKT cell clones was mixed. From normal and diabetic PLN, one-third of CD1d tetramer+-sorted T cell clones were reactive with CD1d transfectants or proliferated/secreted cytokine in response to α-galactosylceramide-pulsed PBMCs; tetramer-staining T cell clones from diabetic PLN did not secrete IL-4. This is the first report directly examining iNKT cells from lymph nodes draining the site of autoimmunological attack in humans; iNKT cells were altered in cytokine secretion as previously reported for circulating iNKT cells in human type 1a diabetes.