Insulitis in type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus in man--macrophages, lymphocytes, and interferon-gamma containing cells

J Pathol. 1991 Oct;165(2):97-103. doi: 10.1002/path.1711650203.


This study sought to determine, firstly, the relative frequency of lymphocytes and macrophages and, secondly, the percentage of lymphocytes containing interferon-gamma in inflamed islets (insulitis) of patients with type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes. Autopsy pancreases of 12 patients who had died of recent-onset type 1 diabetes and one pre-diabetic patient who had died of cardiomyopathy were examined immunohistochemically. In the 87 islets that were studied, the lymphocyte macrophage ratio was 9.7:1 and approximately 40 per cent of the lymphocytes contained interferon-gamma. Interferon-gamma release in the insulitis process may be involved in the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Interferon-gamma / analysis*
  • Islets of Langerhans / pathology*
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Lymphocytes / chemistry
  • Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Macrophages / chemistry
  • Macrophages / pathology
  • Male
  • Pancreatitis / pathology*


  • Interferon-gamma