Dendritic cells (DCs) and T regulatory (Treg) cells play a crucial role in maintaining the tolerance needed to prevent the onset of autoimmunity that leads to the development of type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). Various experimental studies have shown that human DC subsets are involved in the induction of anergy in T cells and in the differentiation of conventional CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocytes into the respective subtypes of Treg cells. Treg cells, in turn, have been shown to modulate the function of DCs to exhibit tolerogenic properties. To evaluate whether T1DM development is related to abnormalities in DCs and Treg cells, many attempts have been made to characterize these cell types in diabetic individuals and in subjects at risk of developing the disease. This review aims to supply an update on the progress made in these aspects of T1DM research.
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