Current Diabetes Reports

, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 704–712 | Cite as

Immune Monitoring of Islet and Pancreas Transplant Recipients

  • J. R. F. Abreu
  • B. O. Roep
Transplantation (A Pileggi, Section Editor)


Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which the insulin-producing beta-cells are destroyed. Islet or pancreas transplantation can restore insulin secretion and are established therapies for subgroups of T1D patients. Long-term insulin-independence is, however, hampered by recurrent autoimmunity and rejection. Accurate monitoring of these immune events is therefore of critical relevance for the timely detection of deleterious immune responses. The identification of relevant immune biomarkers of allo- and autoreactivity has allowed a more accurate monitoring of disease progression and responses to therapy at early stages, allowing proper therapeutic intervention, and possibly improvements in the success rate of islet and pancreas transplantation. This review describes the tools established and validated to monitor immune correlates of auto- and alloreactivity that associate with clinical outcome and identifies challenges that current immunosuppression strategies trying to preserve islet graft function face.


Type 1 diabetes Autoimmune disease Islet transplantation Pancreas transplantation Immune monitoring Biomarkers 



The authors were supported by grants from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Dutch Diabetes Research Foundation, ZonMW (VICI award) and the European Union FP7 Program (BetaCellTherapy and NAIMT).

Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Joana R. F. Abreu declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Bart O. Roep has board membership with Diamyd, Andromeda; has been a consultant for Novo Nordisk, GlaxoSmithKline.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© European Union 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Immunohematology and Blood TransfusionLeiden University Medical CenterLeidenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.JDRF Center for Beta Cell Therapy in DiabetesBrusselsBelgium

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