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Endocr J. 1993 Dec;40(6):633-9.

Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetic patient with remarkable infiltration of lymphocytes to the islets.

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Third Department of Internal Medicine, Jikei University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.


We report the case of a 62-year-old woman who was admitted to our hospital with diabetic ketoacidosis. Her urinary C-peptide was 3.5 micrograms/day, HLA typing was DR9, and serum was positive for islet cell antibodies. There was no significant increase in the major viral titer. Pancreatic head tumor was suspected, and pancreaticoduodenectomy was performed. The pathology of this tumor was polycystic adenoma. We examined the surgical specimen from around the tumor histologically. The pancreatic islets had decreased in number. The immunohistochemical staining of islets for insulin, glucagon and somatostatin showed that the number of B cells had decreased remarkably, while A and D cells were preserved. Marked lymphocytic infiltration was observed in the islets. The majority of lymphocytes were helper/inducer and suppressor/cytotoxic T cells, which did not express HLA-DR antigen or interleukin-2 receptor. No NK cells were present in the islets. The present case, which was examined histologically in detail, is consistent with the previously proposed hypothesis that autoimmunity might play an important role in the pathogenesis of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.

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