From immunohistological to anatomical alterations of human pancreas in type 1 diabetes: New concepts on the stage

Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2020 May;36(4):e3264. doi: 10.1002/dmrr.3264. Epub 2019 Dec 30.


The histological analysis of human pancreatic samples in type 1 diabetes (T1D) has been proven essential to move forward in the evaluation of in situ events characterizing T1D. Increasing availability of pancreatic tissues collected from diabetic multiorgan donors by centralized biorepositories, which have shared tissues among researchers in the field, has allowed a deeper understanding of T1D pathophysiology, using novel immunohistological and high-throughput methods. In this review, we provide a comprehensive update of the main recent advancements in the characterization of cellular and molecular events involving endocrine and exocrine pancreas as well as the immune system in the onset and progression of T1D. Additionally, we underline novel elements, which provide evidence that T1D pathological changes affect not only islet β-cells but also the entire pancreas.

Keywords: autoimmunity; insulitis; pancreas; type 1 diabetes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / etiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / pathology
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / immunology*
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / pathology*
  • Pancreas / immunology*
  • Pancreas / pathology*