Type 1 diabetes is a disease involving autoimmune destruction of pancreatic beta cells in genetically predisposed individuals. Identifying factors that trigger initiation and progression of autoimmunity may provide opportunities for directed prophylactic and therapeutic measures to prevent and/or treat type 1 diabetes. The human intestinal microbiome is a complex, symbiotic ecological community that influences human health and development, including the development and maintenance of the human immune system. The role of the intestinal microbiome in autoimmunity has garnered significant attention, and evidence suggests a particular role for intestinal microbiome alterations in autoimmune disease development, including type 1 diabetes. This review will examine the role of the intestinal microbiome in the development and function of the immune system and how this relates to the development of autoimmunity. Data from animal and human studies linking alterations in the intestinal microbiome and intestinal integrity with type 1 diabetes will be closely examined. Finally, we will examine the interactions between the intestinal microbiome and dietary exposures and how these interactions may further influence autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-118
Number of pages16
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Gliadin
  • Intestine, microbiome
  • Type 1 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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