Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is a multi-factorial autoimmune disease determined by the interaction of genetic, environmental and immunologic factors. One of the environmental risk factors identified by a series of independent studies is represented by viral infection, with strong evidence showing that viruses can indeed infect pancreatic β cells with consequent effects ranging from functional damage to cell death. In this chapter we review the data obtained both in man and in experimental animal models in support of the potential participation of viral infections to Type 1 diabetes pathogenesis, with a particular emphasis on virus-triggered islet inflammation, β-cell dysfunction and autoimmunity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)