Differentiation, expansion, and homeostasis of autoreactive T cells in type 1 diabetes mellitus

Paolo Monti, Anne Kristin Heninger, Ezio Bonifacio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Autoreactive T cells play a major role in the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) and are considered a major target of immunomodulatory strategies aimed at preventing or delaying the disease onset. However, the T-cell response against insulinproducing β cells is still poorly understood. T cells potentially able to recognize and destroy β cells are present in most individuals, but only in a few do they differentiate into pathogenic effectors. Recent and novel findings in T-cell biology on the dynamics of T-cell activation and memory maintenance are shedding new light on the general mechanisms of the T-cell response. In this article, we discuss how new discoveries about T-cell differentiation, expansion, and homeostasis could help to clarify mechanisms of autoimmunity that lead to T1DM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-118
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Diabetes Reports
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Internal Medicine


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