Targeting the pancreatic β-cell to treat diabetes

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2014 Apr;13(4):278-89. doi: 10.1038/nrd4231. Epub 2014 Feb 14.


Diabetes is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, and predicted to affect over 500 million people by 2030. However, this growing burden of disease has not been met with a comparable expansion in therapeutic options. The appreciation of the pancreatic β-cell as a central player in the pathogenesis of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes has renewed focus on ways to improve glucose homeostasis by preserving, expanding and improving the function of this key cell type. Here, we provide an overview of the latest developments in this field, with an emphasis on the most promising strategies identified to date for treating diabetes by targeting the β-cell.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / physiopathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology
  • Drug Design
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy


  • Blood Glucose
  • Hypoglycemic Agents