The Role of Toll-Like Receptors and Vitamin D in Diabetes Mellitus Type 1 – A Review



It is widely accepted that type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is an autoimmune disease resulting from an interaction between immunologic, genetic and environmental factors. However, the exact mechanism leading to the development of T1DM remains incomplete. There is a large body of evidence pointing towards the important role of toll-like receptor (TLR) activation and vitamin D deficiency in T1DM pathogenesis. In this article, we review the available data on the influence of TLRs' level of activation and vitamin D status on the risk of the development of T1DM in humans and rodent models. We also summarize the current information regarding the interactions between TLRs' level of activation, vitamin D status and various environmental factors, such as enteroviral infections, the gut microbiota and breastfeeding substitution, among others. Our results stipulate that vitamin D seems to protect against T1DM by reducing the TLRs' level of activation.