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April 11, 2007

Cellular Therapy for Type 1 Diabetes: Has the Time Come?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Diabetes Research Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Fla.

JAMA. 2007;297(14):1599-1600. doi:10.1001/jama.297.14.1599

Type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM) arises from selective immunologically mediated destruction of the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreatic islets of Langerhans with consequent insulin deficiency.1,2 This occurs in genetically susceptible individuals and is a cellular-mediated process, presumably a specific reaction to 1 or more beta cell proteins (autoantigens), although probably initiated by some environmental factors. There is consequent progressive impairment of beta cell function and decline in beta cell mass.