Characterization of the Pancreas in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
- Location: Rudbecksalen, Dag Hammarskjölds väg 20, Uppsala
- Doctoral student: Lundberg, Marcus
- About the dissertation
- Organiser: Klinisk immunologi
- Contact person: Lundberg, Marcus
Diabetes is recognized by hyperglycaemia and polyuria. Complications, reduced quality of life and staggering health-care costs are all derived from the disease. Two subclasses of diabetes are Type 1 diabetes (T1D) and Type 2 diabetes (T2D). The beta cell mass is reduced in T1D, which is generally considered to be caused by an immune-mediated beta-cell destruction, but definitive evidence for this hypothesis remains absent. Development of insulin resistance and dysfunctional beta cells are commonly recognized as important factors that contribute to fulminant T2D. The literature that describes human T1D and T2D pancreata is sparse due to the limited number of specimens available for study. If more features of the respective pancreata are described, we might be able to elucidate the mechanisms involved in the pathoaetiology of the diseases.
Accordingly, in this thesis pancreatic biopsies obtained from subjects with T1D or T2D have been examined with the aim to provide a more comprehensive picture of the respective pancreata. Paper I reports that aggregates of leucocytes substantiated mostly by macrophages are present in several T2D pancreata. Furthermore, as 28% of the T2D pancreata met the consensus definition of insulitis developed for T1D, a redefinition of insulitis is proposed. In Paper II, the density of parasympathetic axons was found to be reduced in the exocrine compartment in recent-onset T1D subjects compared to non-diabetic and long-standing T1D subjects. However, no alteration was discovered in islet-associated parasympathetic axons. In Paper III, interferon-stimulated genes were found to be over-expressed in recent-onset T1D islets, but no inducer explaining this expression has been discovered. Paper IV shows that T2D islets exhibit a stress response on a transcriptional level, and expression of these genes were investigated in islets from subjects with elevated HbA1c levels but without a clinical T2D diagnosis.
In conclusion, this thesis explores several new areas of the pancreas in both T1D and T2D, and demonstrate several important findings that increase our knowledge on how diabetes develops.