Open Access
Interferon signalling in pancreatic beta cells
Helen E Thomas1,Kate L Graham1,Eveline Angstetra1,Mark D McKenzie1,Nadine L Dudek1,Thomas W Kay1
St Vincent's Institute, The University of Melbourne Department of Medicine, St. Vincent's Hospital, 41 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy, 3065, Melbourne, Australia.
DOI: 10.2741/3270 Volume 14 Issue 2, pp.644-656
Published: 01 January 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent progress in signal transduction of islet beta cells)

Type 1 diabetes results from apoptotic destruction of insulin-producing beta cells by a range of effector molecules produced by immune cells that infiltrate pancreatic islets. Interferons are found within the inflammatory infiltrate of islets during progression to type 1 diabetes. Interferons can promote the action of effector cells that induce beta cell death. They can also act directly on islet cells to induce gene expression, and together with other cytokines they can cause beta cell death. Because of their pleiotropic nature, it was proposed that this family of cytokines may be involved in type 1 diabetes development. In the non-obese diabetic mouse model, interventions have been made at multiple points in the signalling pathways of interferons. This review aims to construct a clear picture of the outcomes of these interventions to determine how interferons are involved in the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes.

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Helen E Thomas, Kate L Graham, Eveline Angstetra, Mark D McKenzie, Nadine L Dudek, Thomas W Kay. Interferon signalling in pancreatic beta cells. Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark. 2009. 14(2); 644-656.