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Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2007 Jul;3(4):557-64. doi: 10.1586/1744666X.3.4.557.

Recent insights into CD4+ T-cell specificity and function in type 1 diabetes.

Author information

  • 1Autoimmunity & Transplantation Division, The Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, 1G Royal Parade, Parkville, Victoria 3050, Australia. mannering@wehi.edu.au


Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is caused by T-cell-mediated destruction of the insulin-producing beta-cells in the pancreas. Genetic and immunological evidence from humans and mouse models indicates that CD4(+) T cells play a crucial role in the development and prevention of T1D. The dichotomy between CD4(+) T regulatory and effector T cells has encouraged research into the role of these cell subsets in T1D. New antigens and epitopes recognized by CD4(+) T cells in affected individuals have been identified. Growing knowledge of T-cell specificity and function is helping to develop new assays for analyzing islet antigen-specific CD4(+) T cells from human blood. Here we discuss, with particular reference to human studies, advances in our understanding of CD4(+) T-cell responses in T1D.

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