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Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2012 Jul;2(7):a007690. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a007690.

Environmental triggers of type 1 diabetes.

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1
Children's Hospital, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland; Folkhälsan Research Center, FI-00290 Helsinki, Finland. mikael.knip@helsinki.fi

Abstract

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is perceived as a progressive immune-mediated disease, the clinical diagnosis of which is preceded by an asymptomatic preclinical period of highly variable duration. It has long been postulated that the disease process leading to overt T1D is triggered by an infectious agent, the strongest candidate being a diabetogenic enterovirus. The initiation and progression of the disorder likely requires, in addition to genetic T1D susceptibility, a trigger, an exogenous antigen capable of driving the development of this disease. This may be a dietary antigen similar to gluten in celiac disease. Recent data further suggests that the initiation of autoimmunity is preceded by inflammation reflected by a proinflammatory metabolic serum profile. The cause of the inflammation remains open, but given that the intestinal microbiome appears to differ between individuals who progress to clinical T1D and nonprogressors, one may speculate that changes in the gut microflora might contribute to the inflammatory process.

PMID:
22762021
PMCID:
PMC3385937
DOI:
10.1101/cshperspect.a007690
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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