Cellular and molecular pathogenesis of type 1A diabetes
Type 1A diabetes is an organ-specific autoimmune disease resulting from destruction of insulin-producing pancreatic β-cells. The main susceptibility genes code for polymorphic HLA molecules and in particular alleles of class II MHC genes (DR, DQ and DP). Polymorphisms of individual genes outside the MHC also contribute to diabetes risk but recent evidence suggests that there are additional non-HLA genes determining susceptibility linked to the MHC. It is now possible using genetic and autoantibody assays to predict the development of type 1A diabetes in the majority of individuals, and trials of diabetes prevention are underway.