Autoimmune (type 1) diabetes
Summary, in English
Autoimmune (type 1) diabetes (AI-DM) is a multistage disorder. Children are born genetically predisposed to putative environmental exposures. These trigger an aggressive, selective and chronic autoimmune response against the pancreatic islet beta cells. This stage is marked by autoantibodies against insulin, glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD65), IA-2 and the ZnT8 transporter. Progression to clinical onset of diabetes is highly variable but the time to onset is shortened with an increased number of islet autoantibodies. Both islet autoantibodies and diabetes are associated with HLA-DQ on chromosome 6. More than 50 non-HLA genetic factors, mostly associated with the human immune response also contribute. It remains to be clarified to what extent HLA-DQ and the non-HLA genes contribute to the initiation of the chronic islet autoimmunity, progression to diabetes, or both. Insulin replacement therapy is still the only treatment as all attempts to halt the loss of beta cells by immunosuppression or immune modulation have failed so far.