Current Status on Immunological Therapies for Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

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Journal Article
Current Diabetes Reports, 2019, 19 (5)
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© 2019, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature. Purpose of Review: Type 1 diabetes (T1D) occurs when there is destruction of beta cells within the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas due to autoimmunity. It is considered a complex disease, and different complications can surface and worsen the condition if T1D is not managed well. Since it is an incurable disease, numerous treatments and therapies have been postulated in order to control T1D by balancing hyperglycemia control while minimizing hypoglycemic episodes. The purpose of this review is to primarily look into the current state of the available immunological therapies and their advantages for the treatment of T1D. Recent Findings: Over the years, immunological therapy has become the center of attraction to treat T1D. Immunomodulatory approaches on non-antigens involving agents such as cyclosporine A, mycophenolate mofetil, anti-CD20, cytotoxic T cells, anti-TNF, anti-CD3, and anti-thymocyte globulin as well as immunomodulative approaches on antigens such as insulin, glutamic acid decarboxylase, and heat shock protein 60 have been studied. Aside from these two approaches, studies and trials have also been conducted on regulatory T cells, dendritic cells, interleukin 2, interleukin 4, M2 macrophages, and rapamycin/interleukin 2 combination therapy to test their effects on patients with T1D. Many of these agents have successfully suppressed T1D in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice and in human trials. However, some have shown negative results. Summary: To date, the insights into the management of the immune system have been increasing rapidly to search for potential therapies and treatments for T1D. Nevertheless, some of the challenges are still inevitable. A lot of work and effort need to be put into the investigation on T1D through immunological therapy, particularly to reduce complications to improve and enhance clinical outcomes.
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