Current Diabetes Reports

, 19:69 | Cite as

Extracellular Vesicles in Type 1 Diabetes: Messengers and Regulators

  • Sarita Negi
  • Alissa K. Rutman
  • Steven ParaskevasEmail author
Pathogenesis of Type 1 Diabetes (A Pugliese and SJ Richardson, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Pathogenesis of Type 1 Diabetes


Purpose of Review

Theories about the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes (T1D) refer to the potential of primary islet inflammatory signaling as a trigger for the loss of self-tolerance leading to disease onset. Emerging evidence suggests that extracellular vesicles (EV) may represent the missing link between inflammation and autoimmunity. Here, we review the evidence for a role of EV in the pathogenesis of T1D, as well as discuss their potential value in the clinical sphere, as biomarkers and therapeutic agents.

Recent Findings

EV derived from β cells are enriched in diabetogenic autoantigens and miRNAs that are selectively sorted and packaged. These EV play a pivotal role in antigen presentation and cell to cell communication leading to activation of autoimmune responses. Furthermore, recent evidence suggests the potential of EV as novel tools in clinical diagnostics and therapeutic interventions.


In-depth analysis of EV cargo using modern multi-parametric technologies may be useful in enhancing our understanding of EV-mediated immune mechanisms and in identifying robust biomarkers and therapeutic strategies for T1D.


Type 1 diabetes Extracellular vesicles Islets of Langerhans β-cell injury Autoimmunity Biomarkers 



This work was supported by the Canadian Donation and Transplantation Program (CDTRP), McGill University Health Centre Foundation (Royal Victoria Hospital), and Astellas Pharmaceuticals. A.K.R is supported by a Fonds de recherche du Québec Santé (FRQS) Doctoral Fellowship and a Research Institute of McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) Studentship.

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 major importance

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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarita Negi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alissa K. Rutman
    • 1
    • 2
  • Steven Paraskevas
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Human Islet Transplant Laboratory, Department of Surgery, D5.5736, Royal Victoria HospitalMcGill University Health CentreMontréalCanada
  2. 2.Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research ProgramEdmontonCanada

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