Prevention or acceleration of type 1 diabetes by viruses

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2013 Jan;70(2):239-55. doi: 10.1007/s00018-012-1042-1. Epub 2012 Jul 6.


Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease characterized by the destruction of insulin-producing pancreatic β-cells. Even though extensive scientific research has yielded important insights into the immune mechanisms involved in pancreatic β-cell destruction, little is known about the events that trigger the autoimmune process. Recent epidemiological and experimental data suggest that environmental factors are involved in this process. In this review, we discuss the role of viruses as an environmental factor on the development of type 1 diabetes, and the immune mechanisms by which they can trigger or protect against this pathology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / etiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / immunology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / virology*
  • Enterovirus / pathogenicity*
  • Enterovirus Infections / immunology*
  • Enterovirus Infections / virology*
  • Humans
  • Hygiene Hypothesis
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / immunology*
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / virology
  • Mice
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology