Growth factor control of pancreatic islet regeneration and function

Pediatr Diabetes. 2009 Feb;10(1):14-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-5448.2008.00468.x. Epub 2008 Sep 19.


Type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus together are predicted to affect over 300 million people worldwide by the year 2020. A relative or absolute paucity of functional β-cells is a central feature of both types of disease, and identifying the pathways that mediate the embryonic origin of new β-cells and mechanisms that underlie the proliferation of existing β-cells are major efforts in the fields of developmental and islet biology. A poor secretory response of existing β-cells to nutrients and hormones and the defects in hormone processing also contribute to the hyperglycemia observed in type 2 diabetes and has prompted studies aimed at enhancing β-cell function. The factors that contribute to a greater susceptibility in aging individuals to develop diabetes is currently unclear and may be linked to a poor turnover of β-cells and/or enhanced susceptibility of β-cells to apoptosis. This review is an update on the recent work in the areas of islet/β-cell regeneration and hormone processing that are relevant to the pathophysiology of the endocrine pancreas in type 1, type 2 and obesity-associated diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Division
  • Cellular Senescence / physiology
  • Glucagon / biosynthesis
  • Glucagon / metabolism
  • Growth Substances / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / biosynthesis
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / cytology
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / physiology
  • Islets of Langerhans / physiology*
  • Regeneration / physiology*


  • Growth Substances
  • Insulin
  • Glucagon