Understanding autoimmune diabetes: Insights from mouse models

Luciano Adorini, Silvia Gregori, Leonard C. Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Type 1 or insulin-dependent diabetes is an autoimmune disease that causes the selective destruction of insulin-secreting β cells in the pancreatic islets. Although this is a polygenic disease, with at least 20 genes implicated, the dominant susceptibility locus maps to the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), both in humans and in rodent models. However, in spite of progress on several fronts, the molecular pathology of autoimmune diabetes remains incompletely defined. Major areas of research include environmental trigger factors, the identification and role of β-cell antigens in inducing and maintaining the autoimmune response, and the nature of the pathogenic and protective lymphocytes involved. In this review, we will focus on these areas to highlight recent advances in understanding the pathogenesis of autoimmune diabetes, drawing extensively on insights gained by studying the non-obese diabetic (NOD) mouse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-38
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Molecular Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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