Research Topic

Cell Transplantation in Diabetes: Cell-Based Immunotherapy for Type 1 Diabetes

About this Research Topic

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disorder afflicting millions of people worldwide. Once diagnosed, patients require lifelong insulin treatment and can experience numerous disease-associated complications. The last decade has seen tremendous advances in elucidating the causes and treatment of the disease based on extensive research both in rodent models of spontaneous diabetes and in humans. Cell-based therapies such as islet and insulin producing cells derived from stem cell transplantation have been tested in clinical trials, endeavoring to directly modulate the autoimmune destruction process in the pancreas as well as replacing the function of damaged islet beta cells. Successful transplantation of pancreatic islets in T1D with complete correction of the glucose metabolic abnormalities may prevent progression or development of the microangiopathic complications of the disease.

The long-term survival and function of islet grafts is compromised by non-immune and immune-related factors. The islet graft can be lost to recurrence of T1D in the absence of allogeneic rejection and autoimmunity. Novel therapies that could monitor and target the reasons for the islet graft loss are needed. To visualize and monitor endogenous and transplanted islets, noninvasive imaging provides a necessary means for real time monitoring of the survival of transplanted islets (e.g., ultrasonography, MRI, and PET-CT). Also, the dual-purpose therapy/imaging (theranostic) method can protect pancreatic islet grafts from immune rejection and could potentially be applied to allotransplantation and prevention of the autoimmune recurrence of T1D in islet transplantation or damage of endogenous islet beta cells.

Recent advances on using stem cells as pronged approaches for T1D treatment show promise for advancement into clinical practice. Stem cells have the ability to prevent the onset of diabetes, or to reverse overt hyperglycemia. Stem cell therapy with assistance of cellular reprogramming and β-cell regeneration can open new therapeutic modalities. Stem cells also have a significant impact on the regulation of the immune system, and are a potent source of various cytokines and growth factors. In vitro and in vivo studies focused on cell-based therapy have been launched with the goal to directly modulate the autoimmune destruction process of pancreatic β-cells. The mechanisms of stem cells transplantation for T1D such as immunomodulation and homing need to be further studied and summarized.

This Research Topic aims to summarize recent advances on cell-based immunotherapy for T1D. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:
• Allogenic islet transplantation for type 1 diabetes;
• Autoimmunity recurrence post islet transplantation;
• Immunological modulation therapy of stem cell transplantation for type 1 diabetes;
• Molecular imaging on islet and stem cell transplantation for type 1 diabetes;
• Theranostic cell based immune therapy for type 1 diabetes.

The following article types will be accepted: Methods, Original Research, Perspective, Review, Systematic Review, and Technology.


Keywords: cell-based immunotherapy, type 1 diabetes


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disorder afflicting millions of people worldwide. Once diagnosed, patients require lifelong insulin treatment and can experience numerous disease-associated complications. The last decade has seen tremendous advances in elucidating the causes and treatment of the disease based on extensive research both in rodent models of spontaneous diabetes and in humans. Cell-based therapies such as islet and insulin producing cells derived from stem cell transplantation have been tested in clinical trials, endeavoring to directly modulate the autoimmune destruction process in the pancreas as well as replacing the function of damaged islet beta cells. Successful transplantation of pancreatic islets in T1D with complete correction of the glucose metabolic abnormalities may prevent progression or development of the microangiopathic complications of the disease.

The long-term survival and function of islet grafts is compromised by non-immune and immune-related factors. The islet graft can be lost to recurrence of T1D in the absence of allogeneic rejection and autoimmunity. Novel therapies that could monitor and target the reasons for the islet graft loss are needed. To visualize and monitor endogenous and transplanted islets, noninvasive imaging provides a necessary means for real time monitoring of the survival of transplanted islets (e.g., ultrasonography, MRI, and PET-CT). Also, the dual-purpose therapy/imaging (theranostic) method can protect pancreatic islet grafts from immune rejection and could potentially be applied to allotransplantation and prevention of the autoimmune recurrence of T1D in islet transplantation or damage of endogenous islet beta cells.

Recent advances on using stem cells as pronged approaches for T1D treatment show promise for advancement into clinical practice. Stem cells have the ability to prevent the onset of diabetes, or to reverse overt hyperglycemia. Stem cell therapy with assistance of cellular reprogramming and β-cell regeneration can open new therapeutic modalities. Stem cells also have a significant impact on the regulation of the immune system, and are a potent source of various cytokines and growth factors. In vitro and in vivo studies focused on cell-based therapy have been launched with the goal to directly modulate the autoimmune destruction process of pancreatic β-cells. The mechanisms of stem cells transplantation for T1D such as immunomodulation and homing need to be further studied and summarized.

This Research Topic aims to summarize recent advances on cell-based immunotherapy for T1D. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:
• Allogenic islet transplantation for type 1 diabetes;
• Autoimmunity recurrence post islet transplantation;
• Immunological modulation therapy of stem cell transplantation for type 1 diabetes;
• Molecular imaging on islet and stem cell transplantation for type 1 diabetes;
• Theranostic cell based immune therapy for type 1 diabetes.

The following article types will be accepted: Methods, Original Research, Perspective, Review, Systematic Review, and Technology.


Keywords: cell-based immunotherapy, type 1 diabetes


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

30 June 2020 Abstract
10 November 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 June 2020 Abstract
10 November 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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