Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine

Adv Clin Exp Med
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Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine

2018, vol. 27, nr 9, September, p. 1309–1315

doi: 10.17219/acem/74452

Publication type: review article

Language: English

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Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 Open Access

Increasing beta cell mass to treat diabetes mellitus

Shakila Sabir1,A,B,D,F, Ammara Saleem1,A,E,F, Muhammad Furqan Akhtar1,A,B,D,F, Muhammad Saleem1,A,E,F, Moosa Raza2,A,E,F

1 Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Government College University Faisalabad, Pakistan

2 Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lahore, Lahore, Pakistan


Finding a radical cure for diabetes has reached paramount importance in medicine due to the widespread prevalence of the disease. A substantial reduction in insulin-secreting beta cells is evident in diabetes. The failure of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) and cyclins to access the nucleus is responsible for quiescence or senescence in human and rodent beta cells. The augmentation of beta cell proliferation is supposed to reverse diabetes. This concept has inspired the discovery of newer drugs that encourage the proliferation of beta cells. Although it is a rational step towards a cure for diabetes, the differences in biochemical pathways in rodents and human beta cells pose difficulty in promoting the proliferation of human beta cells. Primarily, it is mandatory to clearly understand the intracellular pathways involved in the proliferation of beta cells so as to pave the way for therapeutic interventions. There are several intrinsic factors that trigger the proliferation of beta cells. Furthermore, it is also obvious that the early death of beta cells due to oxidative stress-related upregulation of pro-apoptotic genes also predisposes individuals to diabetes mellitus. Polyphenols, exendin 4, histone deacetylase inhibitors, glucagon-like peptide 1, phenyl pyruvic acid glucoside, and several flavonoids reduce the early apoptosis of beta cells partly through their role in the reduction of oxidative stress. A better understanding of intracellular pathways, the identification of specific mitogens, the induction of beta cell proliferation, and the inhibition of apoptosis may help us treat diabetes mellitus through an increase in beta cell mass.

Key words

diabetes mellitus, apoptosis, cell proliferation, rodent beta cells, human beta cells

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