Biomarkers in Islet Cell Transplantation for Type 1 Diabetes

Fatimah T. AlRashidi, Kathleen M. Gillespie*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
306 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose of Review: Islet transplantation, an important approach to achieve insulin independence for individuals with type 1 diabetes, is limited by the lack of accurate biomarkers to track beta-cell death post islet infusion. In this review, we will discuss existing and recently described biomarkers.

Recent Findings: As beta cells are killed by the immune system, fragments of beta cell-specific cell-free DNA and proteins are released into the periphery. Several different strategies to identify these fragments have been described. Some circulating, non-coding microRNAs, particularly miRNA-375 are also showing potential to reflect the rate of beta cell loss post-clinical islet transplantation.

Summary: Recent advances in identifying accurate beta cell-specific biomarkers such as differentially methylated insulin cell-free DNA and circulating miRNA-375 may help predict clinical outcomes. More studies are required to examine the robustness of these biomarkers to detect chronic beta-cell loss in islet transplantation recipients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number94
JournalCurrent diabetes reports
Issue number10
Early online date5 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018


  • Biomarker
  • Cell-free DNA
  • Islet transplantation
  • microRNA 375
  • Type 1 diabetes


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