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Diabetes Care. 2013 Jan;36(1):111-7. doi: 10.2337/dc12-0421. Epub 2012 Aug 8.

β-cell mass and turnover in humans: effects of obesity and aging.

Author information

1
Larry L. Hillblom Islet Research Center, University of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

We sought to establish β-cell mass, β-cell apoptosis, and β-cell replication in humans in response to obesity and advanced age.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS:

We examined human autopsy pancreas from 167 nondiabetic individuals 20-102 years of age. The effect of obesity on β-cell mass was examined in 53 lean and 61 obese subjects, and the effect of aging was examined in 106 lean subjects.

RESULTS:

β-Cell mass is increased by ~50% with obesity (from 0.8 to 1.2 g). With advanced aging, the exocrine pancreas undergoes atrophy but β-cell mass is remarkably preserved. There is minimal β-cell replication or apoptosis in lean humans throughout life with no detectable changes with obesity or advanced age.

CONCLUSIONS:

β-Cell mass in human obesity increases by ~50% by an increase in β-cell number, the source of which is unknown. β-Cell mass is well preserved in humans with advanced aging.

PMID:
22875233
PMCID:
PMC3526241
DOI:
10.2337/dc12-0421
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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