Imaging of beta-Cell Mass and Insulitis in Insulin-Dependent (Type 1) Diabetes Mellitus

Valentina Di Gialleonardo, Erik F. J. de Vries, Marco Di Girolamo, Ana M. Quintero, Rudi A. J. O. Dierckx, Alberto Signore*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Insulin-dependent (type 1) diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disease with a complex multifactorial etiology and a poorly understood pathogenesis. Genetic and environmental factors cause an autoimmune reaction against pancreatic beta-cells, called insulitis, confirmed in pancreatic samples obtained at autopsy. The possibility to noninvasively quantify beta-cell mass in vivo would provide important biological insights and facilitate aspects of diagnosis and therapy, including follow-up of islet cell transplantation. Moreover, the availability of a noninvasive tool to quantify the extent and severity of pancreatic insulitis could be useful for understanding the natural history of human insulin-dependent(type 1) diabetes mellitus, to early diagnose children at risk to develop overt diabetes, and to select patients to be treated with immunotherapies aimed at blocking the insulitis and monitoring the efficacy of these therapies. In this review, we outline the imaging techniques currently available for in vivo, noninvasive detection of beta-cell mass and insulitis. These imaging techniques include magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound, computed tomography, bioluminescence and fluorescence imaging, and the nuclear medicine techniques positron emission tomography and single-photon emission computed tomography. Several approaches and radiopharmaceuticals for imaging beta-cells and lymphocytic insulitis are reviewed in detail. (Endocrine Reviews 33: 892-919, 2012)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)892-919
Number of pages28
JournalEndocrine reviews
Volume33
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2012

Keywords

  • POSITRON-EMISSION-TOMOGRAPHY
  • VESICULAR MONOAMINE TRANSPORTER
  • PANCREATIC ENDOCRINE TUMORS
  • GLUCAGON-LIKE PEPTIDES
  • IN-VIVO MEASUREMENT
  • PARKINSONS-DISEASE
  • ISLET TRANSPLANTATION
  • NOD MOUSE
  • REAL-TIME
  • GLIBENCLAMIDE BINDING

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