The stress of starvation: Glucocorticoid restraint of beta cell development

L. C. Matthews, N. A. Hanley

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    Developmental insults during gestation, such as under-nutrition, are known to restrict the number of beta cells that form in the fetal pancreas and are maintained in adulthood, leading to increased risk of type 2 diabetes. There are now substantial data indicating that glucocorticoids mediate this effect of under-nutrition on beta cell mass and that even at physiological levels they restrain fetal beta cell development in utero. There are emerging clues that this occurs downstream of endocrine commitment by neurogenin 3 but prior to terminal beta cell differentiation. Deciphering the precise mechanism will be important as it might unveil new pathways by which to manipulate beta cell mass that could be exploited as novel therapies for patients with diabetes. © 2010 The Author(s).
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)223-226
    Number of pages3
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


    • Beta cell
    • Corticosterone
    • Cortisol
    • Development
    • Glucocorticoid
    • Glucocorticoid receptor
    • Human
    • Insulin
    • Mouse
    • Neurogenin 3
    • Pancreas
    • Under-nutrition


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