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Vnitr Lek. 2014 Sep;60(9):684-90.

[Factors causing damage and destruction of beta-cells of the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas].

[Article in Czech]


Insulin secretion in patients with manifested diabetes mellitus tends to disappear months to decades after the diagnosis, which is a clear sign of a gradual loss of pancreatic islet beta-cells. In our sample of 30 type 2 diabetic patients, whose disease manifested between 30 and 45 years of age, about a half have retained or even increased insulin secretion 30 years later, while the other half exhibit a much diminished or lost insulin secretion. Factors that can damage or destroy beta-cells can be divided into the following groups: Metabolic factors: hyperglycemia and glucotoxicity, lipotoxicity, hypoxia, reactive oxygen species; Pharmacological factors: antimicrobial medication pentamidine, SSRI antidepressants; Factors related to impaired insulin secretion: MODY type diabetes; Environmental toxic factors: rat poison Vacor, streptozotocin, polychlorinated and polybrominated hydrocarbons; Disorders of the exocrine pancreas: tumor infiltration, fibrous infiltration, chronic pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis; Infections, inflammation, autoimmunity, viral factors: Coxsackie viruses, H1N1 influenza, enteroviruses. We are currently working on finding other factors leading to beta-cell damage, studying their effect on apoptosis and necrosis and looking for possible protective factors to prevent this damage. We our increasing knowledge about the mechanisms of beta-cell damage and destruction we come ever closer to suggest measures for their prevention. In this review we offer a brief and simplified summary of some of the findings related to this area.Key words: pancreatic islet beta-cells of Langerhans - factors damaging or destroying beta-cells - insulin secretion.


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