Genetic Basis of Type I (Insulin-Dependent) Diabetes

  • A. G. Cudworth
  • Eva Wolf


It is now widely accepted that Type I (insulin-dependent) diabetes is etiologically distinct from the more common Type II (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes. However, it must be acknowledged that at times it is not always possible to draw a clear clinical distinction between these two major forms of the disease. Generally, Type I diabetes presents mainly in childhood or adolescence and Type II diabetes mainly in middle or later life. This is by no means a rigid phenomenon and almost certainly there is considerable heterogeneity in both Type I and Type II diabetes. Circumstantial evidence indicates that virus(es) may initiate an immune-mediated destructive process of the pancreatic islet B (insulin-producing) cells in early onset Type I diabetes (Type IA). In addition, there may be a more primary autoimmune form of the disease (Type IB) which has a later age of onset and exhibits a number of other striking characteristic features as discussed later. There is increasing evidence that the immunogenetic characteristics of Type IA and IB diabetes overlap considerably. However, there is no evidence that such immunological factors are operating in Type II diabetes, illustrating that this disease has an entirely different underlying pathogenesis.


Linkage Disequilibrium Islet Cell Antibody Multiplex Family British Diabetic Association Autoimmune Endocrine Disease 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. G. Cudworth
    • 1
  • Eva Wolf
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Diabetes and ImmunogeneticsSt. Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical CollegeLondonEngland

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