Predictive models of autoimmune progression: Unraveling the contribution of pancreatic beta-cell suicide/homicide in type 1 diabetes
In type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease mediated by autoreactive T-cells that attack insulin-secreting pancreatic beta-cells, it has been suggested that disease progression may additionally require protective mechanisms in the target tissue to impede such auto-destructive mechanisms. We hypothesize that the autoimmune attack against beta-cells causes endoplasmic reticulum stress by forcing the remaining beta-cells to synthesize and secrete defective insulin. To rescue beta-cell from the endoplasmic reticulum stress, beta-cells activate the unfolded protein response to restore protein homeostasis and normal insulin synthesis. Here we investigate the compensatory role of unfolded protein response by developing a multi-state model of type 1 diabetes that takes into account beta-cell destruction caused by pathogenic autoreactive T-cells (beta-cell homicide) and apoptosis triggered by endoplasmic reticulum stress (beta-cell suicide).