Type I diabetes is an autoimmune disease involving an interaction between an epigenetic event (possibly a viral infection), the pancreatic β cells, and the immune system in a genetically susceptible host. The possibility that the type I interferons could mediate this interaction was tested with transgenic mice in which the insulin-producing β cells expressed an interferon-α. These mice developed a hypoinsulinemic diabetes associated with a mixed inflammation centered on the islets. The inflammation and the diabetes were prevented with a neutralizing antibody to the interferon-α. Thus, the expression of interferon-α by the β cells could be causal in the development of type I diabetes, which suggests a therapeutic approach to this disease.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|State||Published - 1993|
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