Christoffersson G, Rodriguez-Calvo T, von Herrath M
F1000Res 5 (-) - [2016-01-27; online 2016-01-27]
Type 1 diabetes is a multifactorial disease in which genetic and environmental factors play a key role. The triggering event is still obscure, and so are many of the immune events that follow. In this brief review, we discuss the possible role of potential environmental factors and which triggers are believed to have a role in the disease. In addition, as the disease evolves, beta cells are lost and this occurs in a very heterogeneous fashion. Our knowledge of how beta cell mass declines and our view of the disease's pathogenesis are also debated. We highlight the major hallmarks of disease, among which are MHC-I (major histocompatibility complex class I) expression and insulitis. The dependence versus independence of antigen for the immune infiltrate is also discussed, as both the influence from bystander T cells and the formation of neo-epitopes through post-translational modifications are thought to influence the course of the disease. As human studies are proliferating, our understanding of the disease's pathogenesis will increase exponentially. This article aims to shed light on some of the burning questions in type 1 diabetes research.