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Type 2 Diabetes: The Pathologic Basis of Reversible β-Cell Dysfunction

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Michael White, Professor James Shaw, Professor Roy Taylor



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by American Diabetes Association, 2016.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


The reversible nature of early type 2 diabetes has been demonstrated in in vivo human studies. Recent in vivo and in vitro studies of beta-cell biology have established that the beta-cell loses differentiated characteristics, including glucose-mediated insulin secretion, under metabolic stress. Critically, the beta-cell dedifferentiation produced by long-term excess nutrient supply is reversible. Weight loss in humans permits restoration of first-phase insulin secretion associated with the return to normal of the elevated intrapancreatic triglyceride content. However, in type 2 diabetes of duration greater than 10 years, the cellular changes appear to pass a point of no return. This review summarizes the evidence that early type 2 diabetes can be regarded as a reversible beta-cell response to chronic positive calorie balance.

Publication metadata

Author(s): White MG, Shaw JAM, Taylor R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Diabetes Care

Year: 2016

Volume: 39

Issue: 11

Pages: 2080-2088

Print publication date: 01/11/2016

Online publication date: 13/09/2016

Acceptance date: 23/08/2016

Date deposited: 03/12/2019

ISSN (print): 0149-5992

ISSN (electronic): 1935-5548

Publisher: American Diabetes Association


DOI: 10.2337/dc16-0619


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Funder referenceFunder name
MR/L022699/1Medical Research Council