Type 2 diabetes and the aging pancreatic beta cell

Aging (Albany NY). 2011 Jun;3(6):565-75. doi: 10.18632/aging.100350.


The incidence of and susceptibility to Type 2 diabetes increases with age, but the underlying mechanism(s) within beta cells that contribute to this increased susceptibility have not been fully elucidated. Here we review how aging affects the proliferative and regenerative capacity of beta cells and how this impacts beta cell mass. In addition we review changes that occur in beta cell function with age. Although we focus on the different rodent models that have provided insight into the characteristics of the aging beta cell, the limited knowledge from non-rodent models is also reviewed. Further studies are needed in order to identify potential beta cell targets for preventing or slowing the progression of diabetes that occurs with age.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Cell Cycle / physiology
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / cytology
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / pathology
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / physiology*
  • Regeneration / physiology


  • Cell Cycle Proteins