Beta cell and immune cell interactions in autoimmune type 1 diabetes: How they meet and talk to each other

Martin G. Scherm, Rebecca C. Wyatt, Isabelle Serr, David Anz, ... Carolin Daniel



The highly complex pathogenesis of Type 1 Diabetes is driven by several immune cell types with both effector and regulatory characteristics, which ultimately ends in the destruction of the insulin-producing beta cells. There are multiple layers of interaction between these immune cell populations and the pancreatic islets.

Scope of review

In this review article, we aim to discuss important recent insights into the multiple layers of interaction between immune cell populations and the pancreatic islets. Specifically, we discuss the environment where immune and beta cell interactions occur, the key cell types and molecules involved, and the outcomes of these interactions.

Major conclusions

Most of the molecular mechanisms underlying aberrant immune cell activationand impaired immune tolerance remain insufficiently understood, which hinders the development of efficient prevention and treatment strategies. In order to overcome this knowledge gap, a better understanding of the complex interactions of immune cells and beta cells, including both the underlying protective and pathogenic mechanisms is urgently required.