The Gut Microbiota and Type 1 Diabetes

Clin Immunol. 2015 Aug;159(2):143-53. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2015.05.013. Epub 2015 Jun 4.


Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) is a multifactorial, immune-mediated disease, which is characterized by the progressive destruction of autologous insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. The risk of developing T1D is determined by genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors. In the past few decades there has been a continuous rise in the incidence of T1D, which cannot be explained by genetic factors alone. Changes in our lifestyle that include diet, hygiene, and antibiotic usage have already been suggested to be causal factors for this rising T1D incidence. Only recently have microbiota, which are affected by all these factors, been recognized as key environmental factors affecting T1D development. In this review we will summarize current knowledge on the impact of gut microbiota on T1D development and give an outlook on the potential to design new microbiota-based therapies in the prevention and treatment of T1D.

Keywords: Gut microbiota; Gut permeability; Th17 cells; Treg; Type 1 Diabetes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Delivery, Obstetric*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / immunology*
  • Diet*
  • Dysbiosis / immunology*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / immunology*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Intestines / immunology*
  • Intestines / microbiology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Permeability
  • Pregnancy
  • Rats
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*
  • Th17 Cells / immunology*