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Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease due to the destruction of insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells. Natural Killer T (NKT) cells are a T-cell subset that links the innate and adaptive immune systems. NKT cells play a key regulatory role in type 1 diabetes. The absence of NKT cells correlates with exacerbation of type 1 diabetes, whereas an increased frequency and/or activation of NKT cells prevents beta-cell autoimmunity. Various mechanisms are involved in the protective effect of NKT cells. The goal is now to translate knowledge gained from mouse models into human therapeutics.

Original publication




Journal article


Int rev immunol

Publication Date





49 - 72


Animals, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1, Disease Models, Animal, Humans, Islets of Langerhans, Killer Cells, Natural, Mice, Mice, Inbred NOD, T-Lymphocyte Subsets