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Neutrophils and type 1 diabetes

current knowledge and suggested future directions

Battaglia, Manuela; Petrelli, Alessandra; Vecchio, Federica

Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity: August 2019 - Volume 26 - Issue 4 - p 201–206
doi: 10.1097/MED.0000000000000485

Purpose of review Purpose of this review is to describe the most recent human studies on neutrophils in type 1 diabetes (T1D) and to focus on the key questions that still need to be addressed.

Recent findings Recent evidences demonstrate that neutrophils have marked abnormalities in phenotype and function and play a central role in initiation and perpetuation of aberrant immune responses and organ damage in various systemic autoimmune diseases such as lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. In T1D, we have recently demonstrated that reduced circulating neutrophil numbers precede and accompany the disease and that neutrophils infiltrate the pancreas and extrude neutrophil extracellular traps already before the onset of clinical symptoms. However, few other evidences of alterations in neutrophil phenotype and function have been reported in humans, especially in the T1D presymptomatic phases.

Summary Dissecting the pathogenic role of these cells in human T1D is crucial for a better understanding of the disease and to open new therapeutic opportunities.

San Raffaele Diabetes Research Institute, IRCCS Ospedale, San Raffaele, Milan, Italy

Correspondence to Manuela Battaglia, Telethon Foundation, Milan, Italy. E-mail:

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