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World J Diabetes. 2011 Apr 15;2(4):49-53. doi: 10.4239/wjd.v2.i4.49.

Age related changes in pancreatic beta cells: A putative extra-cerebral site of Alzheimer's pathology.

Author information

  • 1Magdalena Maj, Aysegul Ilhan, Dashurie Neziri, Wolfgang Gartner, Department of Internal Medicine III, Division of Nephrology and Dialysis, Medical University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria.

Abstract

Frequent concomitant manifestation of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been recently demonstrated by epidemiological studies. This might be due to functional similarities between β-cells and neurons, such as secretion on demand of highly specific molecules in a tightly controlled fashion. An additional similarity represents the age-related alteration of hyperphosphorylated tau in AD patients. Similarly, alterations have been identified in β-cells of T2DM patients. The islet amyloid polypeptide has been associated with β-cell apoptosis. As a consequence of increasing age, the accumulation of highly modified proteins together with decreased regenerative potential might lead to increasing rates of apoptosis. Moreover, reduction of β-cell replication capabilities results in reduction of β-cell mass in mammals, simultaneously with impaired glucose tolerance. The new challenge is to learn much more about age-related protein modifications. This can lead to new treatment strategies for reducing the incidence of T2DM and AD.

KEYWORDS:

Age; Alzheimer’s disease; Hyperphosphorylated tau; Islet amyloid polypeptide; Pancreatic beta cells; Type 2 diabetes mellitus

PMID:
21537460
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC3083907
Free PMC Article
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