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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology
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ISSN Print: 1040-8401
ISSN Online: 2162-6472

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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevImmunol.2013006913
pages 245-281

Immunotherapeutic Treatment of Autoimmune Diabetes

Jae Hyeon Kim
Department of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine; Kyunggi-do 410-773, Korea
Sang-Man Jin
Department of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine; Kyunggi-do 410-773, Korea
Hun Sik Kim
Graduate School, University of Ulsan
Kyoung-Ah Kim
Department of Medicine, Dongguk University International Hospital, Dongguk University School of Medicine
Myung-Shik Lee
Department of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine; Kyunggi-do 410-773, Korea

ABSTRACT

Type 1 diabetes is a prototypic, organ-specific autoimmune disease. Diverse antigen-specific immunotherapy using insulin or glutamic acid decarboxylase peptides and other immunotherapies, such as antibodies, fusion proteins, cytokines, regulatory T cells, small-molecule inhibitors, nonspecific immune modulators, or dietary modifications, have been attempted in human type 1 diabetes. Some of these immunotherapies delay the onset of diabetes or reduce insulin requirements or blood glucose level in patients with established type 1 diabetes. However, most of these immunotherapies failed to induce complete remission of established type 1 diabetes, which could be due to 1) technical difficulties in the achievement of immune tolerance to diabetic autoantigens or in the inhibition of autoimmune responses to those antigens that can be applied to human patients without significant adverse effects, and 2) markedly reduced β-cell mass at the time of disease onset that should be replenished. This review focuses on the immunological aspects of the disease and its treatment, and data from previous or ongoing human clinical trials using immune-logical measures, and recent results from immunological studies employing animal models are discussed.


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