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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2015, Article ID 638470, 7 pages
Review Article

Th17 Cells in Type 1 Diabetes: Role in the Pathogenesis and Regulation by Gut Microbiome

1Department of Endocrinology, The Second Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin 130041, China
2Division of Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases, Oregon Health & Science University and VA Portland Health Care System, Portland, OR 97239, USA

Received 25 September 2015; Accepted 16 December 2015

Academic Editor: Marije I. Koenders

Copyright © 2015 Yangyang Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease which is characterized by progressive destruction of insulin producing pancreatic islet β cells. The risk of developing T1D is determined by both genetic and environmental factors. A growing body of evidence supports an important role of T helper type 17 (Th17) cells along with impaired T regulatory (Treg) cells in the development of T1D in animal models and humans. Alteration of gut microbiota has been implicated to be responsible for the imbalance between Th17 and Treg cells. However, there is controversy concerning a pathogenic versus protective role of Th17 cells in murine models of diabetes in the context of influence of gut microbiota. In this review we will summarize current knowledge about Th17 cells and gut microbiota involved in T1D and propose Th17 targeted therapy in children with islet autoimmunity to prevent progression to overt diabetes.