Type I Diabetes (Nonobese diabetic mouse model)
Type I diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the insulin-producing β cells in the pancreatic islets of Langerhans are gradually destroyed by autoreactive T cells over a period of months to years. After about 80% of the islet cells are destroyed, insulin deficiency and a severe form of insulin-dependent diabetes marked by ketoacidosis develops. The disease usually affects children and young adults but can occur at any age. Males and females are affected equally. The highest incidence is in Scandinavians (35 per 100,000 per year). Individuals with a genetic susceptibility to the disease are thought to develop autoimmunity in response to an undefined environtmental trigger. Most patients with type I diabetes produce anti-islet cell autoantibodies reactive with insulin, glutamic acid decarboxylase, ICA-512/IA-2, phogrin, or other antigens. These autoantibodies generally appear before the onset of clinical diabetes and have been used for early diagnosis of the condition.