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Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Dec;25(12):628-36. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2014.08.006. Epub 2014 Sep 19.

Epigenetic modifiers of islet function and mass.

Author information

  • 1Section of Islet Cell and Regenerative Biology, Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA; Graduate Program in Areas of Basic and Applied Biology (GABBA), Abdel Salazar Biomedical Sciences Institute, University of Porto, 5000 Porto, Portugal.
  • 2Section of Islet Cell and Regenerative Biology, Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA; Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA. Electronic address: Rohit.Kulkarni@joslin.harvard.edu.

Abstract

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is associated with insulin resistance in target tissues including the β-cell, leading to significant β-cell loss and secretory dysfunction. T2D is also associated with aging, and the underlying mechanisms that increase susceptibility of an individual to develop the disease implicate epigenetics: interactions between susceptible loci and the environment. In this review, we discuss the effects of aging on β-cell function and adaptation, besides the significance of mitochondria in islet bioenergetics and epigenome. We highlight three important modulators of the islet epigenome, namely: metabolites, hormones, and the nutritional state. Unraveling the signaling pathways that regulate the islet epigenome during aging will help to better understand the development of disease progression and to design novel therapies for diabetes prevention.

Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

PMID:
25246382
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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