Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Rev Diabet Stud. 2005 Spring;2(1):9-18. Epub 2005 May 10.

The role of regulatory T cell defects in type I diabetes and the potential of these cells for therapy.

Author information

Department of Pathology, Immunology Division, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge, CB2 1QP, United Kingdom.


Type I diabetes is increasing in incidence in developed countries [1]. Diabetes arises from a breakdown of tolerance to islet antigens, resulting in T cell-driven destruction of the islet cells and concomitant hyperglycemia. In this review, we explore whether this loss of tolerance results in part from a defect in the action of regulatory T cells. We draw on both human data and that obtained from NOD mice, the murine model of autoimmune diabetes. Although insulin-based therapies have been highly successful in treating diabetes, the complications of long-term hyperglycemia are still major causes of morbidity and mortality. Accordingly, we also discuss whether treatment with regulatory T cells is a viable method for restoring long-term tolerance to self-antigens in recently diagnosed or pre-diabetic individuals. Regulatory T cell therapy offers many potential advantages, including a specific and lasting dampening of inflammation. However, some significant hurdles would have to be overcome before it could become an established treatment.

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Society for Biomedical Diabetes Research Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center