PMID: 7207836Jan 28, 1981Paper

Immunological aspects of diabetes

Minerva medica
A CottoG Emanuelli

Abstract

The incidence of immunological disorders seems to play a primary, significative role in the genesis of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). Auto-immunological anti-pancreas alterations, both cell-mediated and humoral, have been detected in course of IDDM; moreover, the presence of antipancreatic antibodies seems to correlate with progressive destruction of islet cells and increased insulin deficiency. Animal models and human studies, revealing the pathologic entity of "insulitis", are consistent with an autoimmune component playing a part in the pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus. Furthermore, genotypic factors may be considered: recent studies prove the association between HLA system and IDDM; specifically, HLA antigens B8 and BW15 are found in significantly higher frequencies in juvenile onset insulin-dependent diabetics. Therefore, it can be hypothesized, in the pathogenesis of the disease, an altered immune response to an additional environmental diabetogenic factor; it has been postulated, on the ground of epidemiologic and experimental studies, the interference of a viral infection, that may act as a triggering event to pancreatic cell damage with a latent period of variable duration.

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