Type 1 diabetes is a T cell mediated autoimmune disease, characterised by the selective destruction of pancreatic beta cells, and susceptibility is determined by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The environmental agents implicated include viruses and dietary factors, although none has yet been shown to be directly responsible for triggering beta cell autoimmunity. The genetic factors that influence disease risk have been subjected to more intensive study and two gene regions of major importance have been identified: the human leucocyte antigen locus and the insulin gene. This review will focus on the mechanisms by which these genes might influence the risk of developing type 1 diabetes.
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Feb 2003|