Adipose Tissue, Hormones, and Treatment of Type 1 Diabetes
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- Gunawardana, S.C. Curr Diab Rep (2012) 12: 542. doi:10.1007/s11892-012-0300-9
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Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a serious disease with increasing incidence worldwide, with fatal consequences if untreated. Traditional therapies require direct or indirect insulin replacement, which involves numerous limitations and complications. While insulin is the major regulator of blood glucose, recent reports demonstrate the ability of several extra-pancreatic hormones to decrease blood glucose and improve metabolic homeostasis. Such hormones mainly include adipokines originating from adipose tissue (AT), while specific factors from the gut and liver also contribute to glucose homeostasis. Correction of T1D with adipokines is progressively becoming a realistic option, with the potential to overcome many problems associated with insulin replacement. Several recent studies demonstrate insulin-independent reversal or amelioration of T1D through administration of specific adipokines. Our recent work demonstrates the ability of healthy AT to compensate for the function of endocrine pancreas in long-term correction of T1D. This review discusses the potential of AT-related therapies for T1D as viable alternatives to insulin replacement.