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Diabetologia. 2007 Mar;50(3):596-601. Epub 2007 Jan 13.

Macrophages and dendritic cells infiltrating islets with or without beta cells produce tumour necrosis factor-alpha in patients with recent-onset type 1 diabetes.

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Department of Metabolic Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, Suita, and Department of Internal Medicine, Mino City Hospital, Japan.



Type 1A diabetes results from autoimmune destruction of pancreatic beta cells. We examined the involvement of TNF-alpha and IL-1beta, as well as of T cells, macrophages and dendritic cells, in the destruction of beta cells in patients with recent-onset type 1 diabetes.


We obtained pancreatic biopsy specimens from six patients with recent-onset type 1 diabetes and analysed these by immunohistochemistry.


T cell infiltration was less common in islets without beta cells (12.5 [0-33.3]%) than in those with beta cells (46.0 [17.4-83.3]%), while macrophages and dendritic cells showed a similar extent of infiltration into islets both with or without beta cells. TNF-alpha was detected in 25.0 (4.3-46.9)% of macrophages and 11.8 (0-40.0)% of dendritic cells infiltrating the islets in samples from each patient, but not at all in T cells. IL-1beta was detected in 1.8 (0-11.3)% of T cells infiltrating the islets with beta cells, while it was found in 19.2 (0-35.3)% of macrophages or 10.7 (0-31.3)% of dendritic cells infiltrating the islets in samples from each patient (all values median [range]).


Macrophages and dendritic cells infiltrate the islets and produce inflammatory cytokines (TNF-alpha and IL-1beta) during the development of type 1A diabetes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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