Dendritic cell mediated therapy for immunoregulation of type 1 diabetes mellitus

Pediatr Endocrinol Rev. 2008 Jun;5(4):873-9.


Diabetes is a state of imbalance in insulin secretion and tissue sensitivity resulting in hyperglycemia and a host of other metabolic changes. Increased patient morbidity and mortality are caused in part by diabetic complications that include cardio-vascular complications, retinopathy, neuropathy, and nephropathy (1). The early onset of disease in type 1 diabetes mellitus increases the effects of these complications since the risk of development increases with disease duration. Clinical agents are currently available for type 2 diabetic patients to increase both secretion and sensitivity to insulin. These compounds are ineffective in type 1 diabetic patients due to the destruction of the insulin producing beta cells in the pancreatic islets of Langerhans, making type 1 and non-responsive type 2 diabetic patients dependent on insulin replacement therapy. Intensive insulin treatment delays onset of these complications, but does not eliminate them (1). Insulin replacement therapy is not a cure for type 1 diabetes; to establish a cure, the destruction of the beta cells themselves must be directly addressed. Here we will focus on immunoregulatory techniques to prevent beta cell loss due to the autoimmunity found in type 1 diabetes mellitus.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Child
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / immunology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance / immunology*
  • Immunotherapy / methods*