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Diabetes Obes Metab. 2008 May;10(5):408-20. Epub 2007 Apr 19.

Beta cells in type 2 diabetes - a crucial contribution to pathogenesis.

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Department of Medicine, Larry L. Hillblom Islet Research Center, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095-7345, USA.


The healthy beta-cell has an enormous capacity to adapt to conditions of higher insulin demand (e.g. in obesity, pregnancy, cortisol excess) to maintain normoglycaemia with an increase in its functional beta-cell mass. This compensates in 80-90% of individuals for insulin resistance. However, in 10-20% of individuals, the beta-cells are unable to match the demands of insulin resistance and insulin levels are relatively insufficient to maintain normal glycaemic control. This eventually leads to glucose intolerance and type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Accordingly, preservation of functional beta-cell mass has become central in the treatment of type 1 diabetes as well as T2DM. The purpose of this review is to summarize the recently described mechanisms of beta-cell death in T2DM and to postulate possible new targets for treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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