, Volume 14, Issue 12, pp 1389-1404
Date: 26 Mar 2009

Beta cell apoptosis in diabetes

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Apoptosis of beta cells is a feature of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes as well as loss of islets after transplantation. In type 1 diabetes, beta cells are destroyed by immunological mechanisms. In type 2 diabetes abnormal levels of metabolic factors contribute to beta cell failure and subsequent apoptosis. Loss of beta cells after islet transplantation is due to many factors including the stress associated with islet isolation, primary graft non-function and allogeneic graft rejection. Irrespective of the exact mediators, highly conserved intracellular pathways of apoptosis are triggered. This review will outline the molecular mediators of beta cell apoptosis and the intracellular pathways activated.