Islet inflammation in type 2 diabetes

Semin Immunopathol. 2019 Jul;41(4):501-513. doi: 10.1007/s00281-019-00745-4. Epub 2019 Apr 15.


Metabolic diseases including type 2 diabetes are associated with meta-inflammation. β-Cell failure is a major component of the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes. It is now well established that increased numbers of innate immune cells, cytokines, and chemokines have detrimental effects on islets in these chronic conditions. Recently, evidence emerged which points to initially adaptive and restorative functions of inflammatory factors and immune cells in metabolism. In the following review, we provide an overview on the features of islet inflammation in diabetes and models of prediabetes. We separately emphasize what is known on islet inflammation in humans and focus on in vivo animal models and how they are used to elucidate mechanistic aspects of islet inflammation. Further, we discuss the recently emerging physiologic signaling role of cytokines during adaptation and normal function of islet cells.

Keywords: Cytokines; IL-1β; Insulin; Islet inflammation; Type 2 diabetes; β-Cell.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / pathology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism*
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / pathology
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Cytokines