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J Clin Invest. 2013 Mar;123(3):990-5. doi: 10.1172/JCI64095. Epub 2013 Mar 1.

The role of aging upon β cell turnover.

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McNair Medical Institute, Pediatric Diabetes and Endocrinology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


Preservation and regeneration of β cell endocrine function is a long-sought goal in diabetes research. Defective insulin secretion from β cells underlies both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, thus fueling considerable interest in molecules capable of rebuilding β cell secretion capacity. Though early work in rodents suggested that regeneration might be possible, recent studies have revealed that aging powerfully restricts cell cycle entry of β cells, which may limit regeneration capacity. Consequently, aging has emerged as an enigmatic challenge that might limit β cell regeneration therapies. This Review summarizes recent data regarding the role of aging in β cell regeneration and proposes models explaining these phenomena.

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