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Pathogenesis of insulin-dependent diabetes: a role for activated T lymphocytes

, : Pathogenesis of insulin-dependent diabetes: a role for activated T lymphocytes. Lancet 2(8393): 4-6

Expression of HLA DR antigens on T lymphocytes indicates that these cells are actively involved in an immune response. Raised levels of activated T lymphocytes were found in 14 of 15 recently diagnosed but in only 7 of 28 long-standing insulin-dependent diabetics. 9 of the recently diagnosed patients retested 6 months later still had high levels of activated T lymphocytes. Even long-standing insulin-dependent diabetics had significantly higher levels of activated T lymphocytes than non-insulin-dependent diabetics and healthy controls. 5 of 7 unaffected co-twins of recently diagnosed insulin-dependent diabetics had high levels of activated T cells; this increase persisted in 2 retested 6 months later, when mildly impaired glucose tolerance had developed. These results confirm that there is an active cellular immune reaction in newly diagnosed insulin-dependent diabetics which may precede the disease and persist for at least 6 months after its appearance.


PMID: 6145952

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