Endocrine Abstracts (2004) 7 S11

Insulin regulation of pancreatic beta cells

D Withers

Centre for Diabetes and Endocrinology, University College London, London, UK.

A number of growth factors and their receptor signalling pathways are expressed in the embryonic and adult pancreas. Recent evidence from studies using murine gene-targeting strategies has implicated insulin and IGF-1 receptor and post-receptor signalling pathways in beta cell function. A number of roles for these signalling mechanisms have been reported in both beta cell development and survival and in regulating insulin gene expression and insulin secretion. Global and conditional gene-targeting approaches have implicated roles for the insulin receptor and IGF1 receptor in the regulation of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and overlapping roles in the maintenance of beta cell mass. Analysis of post-receptor mechanisms has also revealed distinct roles for insulin receptor substrate (IRS) proteins 1 and 2. These recent advances will be reviewed and newer data presented on the role of specific signalling proteins in beta cell function.

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