Acta Diabetologica

, Volume 49, Issue 3, pp 167–183 | Cite as

The potential role of glutamate in the current diabetes epidemic

  • Alberto M. DavalliEmail author
  • Carla Perego
  • Franco B. Folli
Review Article


In the present article, we propose the perspective that abnormal glutamate homeostasis might contribute to diabetes pathogenesis. Previous reports and our recent data indicate that chronically high extracellular glutamate levels exert direct and indirect effects that might participate in the progressive loss of β-cells occurring in both T1D and T2D. In addition, abnormal glutamate homeostasis may impact all the three accelerators of the “accelerator hypothesis” and could partially explain the rising frequency of T1D and T2D.


l-Glutamic acid Glutamate toxicity Monosodium glutamate Obesity Diabetes Pancreatic β-cells 



This work was supported by University Research Program 2008 (to CP) and National Institutes of Health Grant RO1 DK080148 (to FF). AMD, CP, and FF and Eliana Sara di Cairano (ESDC) are inventors in a Patent Cooperation Treaty application (PCT/EP09/08256, US2011/0244486A1).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alberto M. Davalli
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Carla Perego
    • 2
  • Franco B. Folli
    • 3
  1. 1.Diabetes and Endocrinology Unit, Department of Internal MedicineSan Raffaele Scientific InstituteMilanItaly
  2. 2.Department of Molecular Science Applied to BiosystemsUniversita` degli Studi di MilanoMilanItaly
  3. 3.Diabetes Division, Department of MedicineUniversity of Texas Health Science CenterSan AntonioUSA

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