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Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease due to the destruction of insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells. Natural Killer T (NKT) cells are a T-cell subset that links the innate and adaptive immune systems. NKT cells play a key regulatory role in type 1 diabetes. The absence of NKT cells correlates with exacerbation of type 1 diabetes, whereas an increased frequency and/or activation of NKT cells prevents beta-cell autoimmunity. Various mechanisms are involved in the protective effect of NKT cells. The goal is now to translate knowledge gained from mouse models into human therapeutics.

Original publication

DOI

10.1080/08830180601070229

Type

Journal

Int Rev Immunol

Publication Date

01/2007

Volume

26

Pages

49 - 72

Keywords

Animals, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1, Disease Models, Animal, Humans, Islets of Langerhans, Killer Cells, Natural, Mice, Mice, Inbred NOD, T-Lymphocyte Subsets