B cells in autoimmune diabetes

Rev Diabet Stud. Fall 2005;2(3):121-35. doi: 10.1900/RDS.2005.2.121. Epub 2005 Nov 10.


Autoantibodies have been used as good markers for the prediction of future development of type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), but are not thought to be pathogenic in this disease. The role of B cells that produce autoantibodies in the pathogenesis of human T1DM is largely unknown. In the non-obese diabetic (NOD) mouse model of autoimmune diabetes, it has been shown that B cells may contribute multifariously to the pathogenesis of the disease. Some aspects of deficiencies of B cell tolerance may lead to the circulation of autoreactive B cells. In addition, the antigen-presenting function of autoantigen specific B cells is likely to be particularly important, and autoantibodies are also considered to play a critical role. This review discusses the possible aspects of B cells involved in the development of autoimmune diabetes.