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Type I diabetes [insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM)] is an autoimmune disease associated with the destruction of pancreatic beta cells. Serum from patients with IDDM increased L-type calcium channel activity of insulin-producing cells and of GH3 cells derived from a pituitary tumor. The subsequent increase in the concentration of free cytoplasmic Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) was associated with DNA fragmentation typical of programmed cell death or apoptosis. These effects of the serum were prevented by adding a blocker of voltage-activated L-type Ca2+ channels. When the serum was depleted of immunoglobulin M (IgM), it no longer affected [Ca2+]i. An IgM-mediated increase in Ca2+ influx may thus be part of the autoimmune reaction associated with IDDM and contribute to the destruction of beta cells in vivo.


Journal article



Publication Date





86 - 90


3-Pyridinecarboxylic acid, 1,4-dihydro-2,6-dimethyl-5-nitro-4-(2-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl)-, Methyl ester, Animals, Apoptosis, Calcium, Calcium Channels, DNA Damage, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1, Humans, Immunoglobulin M, Islets of Langerhans, Membrane Potentials, Mice, Pituitary Neoplasms, Tumor Cells, Cultured, Verapamil