Targeting beta-cell mass in type 2 diabetes: promise and limitations of new drugs based on incretins.

Salehi, Marzieh; Aulinger, Benedikt A; D'Alessio, David A
Endocrine reviews; 2008 May;29(3):367-79. PMID: 18292465
Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, ML 0547, University of Cincinnati, Vontz Center for Molecular Studies, 3125 Eden Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45267-0547, USA.


Progressive insulin secretory defects, due to either functional abnormalities of the pancreatic beta-cells or a reduction in beta-cell mass, are the cornerstone of type 2 diabetes. Incretin-based drugs hold the potential to improve glucose tolerance by immediate favorable effect on beta-cell physiology as well as by expanding or at least maintaining beta-cell mass, which may delay the progression of the disease. Long-term studies in humans are needed to elaborate on these effects.