Role of viruses in type I diabetes

Matthias G. Von Herrath, Andreas Holz, Dirk Homann, Michael B.A. Oldstone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Viral infections frequently elicit strong cellular and humoral immune responses. This bears the inherent danger of co-activating autoreactive lymphocytes, either through bystander activation by cytokines or through direct sharing of conformational determinants between self and virus (mimicry). Autoimmune diseases could then result, even after clearance of the viral infection, if enough autoreactive cells are activated. Alternatively, viral infection of antigen presenting cells can locally enhance inflammation and drive autoreactive lymphocytes. Evidence for these mechanisms, as well as emerging therapeutic concepts, will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-100
Number of pages14
JournalSeminars in Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Autoimmune diabetes
  • Molecular mimicry
  • Transgenic model of human disease
  • Viruses


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