INTRODUCTION: The incidence of type 1 diabetes (T1D) is rising for reasons that largely elude us. New strategies aimed at halting the disease process are needed. One type of immune cell thought to contribute to T1D is the B lymphocyte. The first Phase II trial of B cell depletion in new onset T1D patients indicated that this slowed the destruction of insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells. The mechanistic basis of the beneficial effects remains unclear.
AREAS COVERED: Studies of B cell depletion and deficiency in animal models of T1D. How B cells can influence T cell-dependent autoimmune diabetes in animal models. The heterogeneity of B cell populations and current evidence for the potential contribution of specific B cell subsets to diabetes, with emphasis on marginal zone B cells and B1 B cells.
EXPERT OPINION: B cells can influence the T cell response to islet antigens and B cell depletion or genetic deficiency is associated with decreased insulitis in animal models. New evidence suggests that B1 cells may contribute to diabetes pathogenesis. A better understanding of the roles of individual B cell subsets in disease will permit fine-tuning of therapeutic strategies to modify these populations.
Bibliographical noteThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets on 3 Mar 2011, available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1517/14728222.2011.561320
- antigen presentation
- experimental diabetes mellitus
- type 1 diabetes mellitus
- islets of Langerhans