Immune-mediated β-cell death in type 1 diabetes: lessons from human β-cell lines

Eur J Clin Invest. 2012 Nov;42(11):1244-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2362.2012.02711.x. Epub 2012 Aug 25.


Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a chronic, multifactorial disorder that results from a contretemps of genetic and environmental factors. Autoimmune attack and functional inhibition of the insulin-producing β cells in the pancreas lead to the inability of β cells to metabolize glucose, and thus results the hallmark clinical symptom of diabetes: abnormally high blood glucose levels. Treatment and protection from T1D require a detailed knowledge of the molecular effectors and the mechanism(s) of cell death leading to β-cell demise. Primary islets and surrogate β cells have been utilized in vitro to investigate in isolation-specific mechanisms associated with progression to T1D in vivo. This review focuses on the data obtained from these experiments. Studies using transformed β cells of human sources are described.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autoimmunity / physiology
  • Cell Death / immunology*
  • Cell Line
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / immunology
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism*
  • Pancreas / metabolism*