Diabetes mellitus

Failure of the body to synthesize sufficient insulin results in the development of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). This is also known as type-1 diabetes or juvenile-onset diabetes.

IDDM is caused by T-cell-mediated autoimmune destruction of the insulin-producing P-pancreatic islet cells in genetically predisposed individuals. This is probably due to the expression of a 'super antigen' on the surface of the P-cells in such individuals, although the molecular detail of what extent factors trigger onset of the P-cell destruction remain to be elucidated. IDDM may, however, be controlled by parenteral administration of exogenous insulin preparations, usually by regular s.c. injection.

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