Current Status on Immunological Therapies for Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

  • Griselda Lim Loo Xin
  • Yap Pui Khee
  • Tan Yoke Ying
  • Jestin Chellian
  • Gaurav Gupta
  • Anil Philip Kunnath
  • Srinivas Nammi
  • Trudi Collet
  • Philip Michael Hansbro
  • Kamal Dua
  • Dinesh Kumar ChellappanEmail author
Therapies and New Technologies in the Treatment of Diabetes (M Pietropaolo, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Therapies and New Technologies in the Treatment of Diabetes


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.


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.


T1D Immunotherapies Non-antigenic agents Antigenic agents 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Griselda Lim Loo Xin
    • 1
  • Yap Pui Khee
    • 1
  • Tan Yoke Ying
    • 1
  • Jestin Chellian
    • 2
  • Gaurav Gupta
    • 3
  • Anil Philip Kunnath
    • 4
  • Srinivas Nammi
    • 5
    • 6
  • Trudi Collet
    • 7
  • Philip Michael Hansbro
    • 8
    • 9
  • Kamal Dua
    • 8
    • 9
  • Dinesh Kumar Chellappan
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Health SciencesInternational Medical UniversityKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.Department of Life Sciences, School of PharmacyInternational Medical UniversityKuala LumpurMalaysia
  3. 3.School of Pharmaceutical SciencesJaipur National UniversityJaipurIndia
  4. 4.Division of Applied Biomedical Science and Biotechnology, School of Health SciencesInternational Medical UniversityKuala LumpurMalaysia
  5. 5.School of Science and HealthWestern Sydney UniversitySydneyAustralia
  6. 6.NICM Health Research InstituteWestern Sydney UniversitySydneyAustralia
  7. 7.Innovative Medicines Group, Institute of Health and Biomedical InnovationQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  8. 8.Discipline of Pharmacy, Graduate School of HealthUniversity of Technology Sydney (UTS)UltimoAustralia
  9. 9.Priority Research Centre for Healthy Lungs, Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) & School of Biomedical Sciences and PharmacyThe University of Newcastle (UoN)NewcastleAustralia

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