Age related changes in pancreatic beta cells: A putative extra-cerebral site of Alzheimer's pathology (2011)

Author(s): Maj M, Ilhan A, Neziri D, Gartner W, Berggard T, Attems J, Base W, Wagner L

    Abstract: Frequent concomitant manifestation of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been recently demonstrated by epidemiological studies. This might be due to functional similarities between beta-cells and neurons, such as secretion on demand of highly specific molecules in a tightly controlled fashion. An additional similarity represents the age-related alteration of hyperphosphorylated tau in AD patients. Similarly, alterations have been identified in beta-cells of T2DM patients. The islet amyloid polypeptide has been associated with beta-cell apoptosis. As a consequence of increasing age, the accumulation of highly modified proteins together with decreased regenerative potential might lead to increasing rates of apoptosis. Moreover, reduction of beta-cell replication capabilities results in reduction of beta-cell mass in mammals, simultaneously with impaired glucose tolerance. The new challenge is to learn much more about age-related protein modifications. This can lead to new treatment strategies for reducing the incidence of T2DM and AD.

      • Date: 15/04/2011
      • Journal: World Journal of Diabetes
      • Volume: 2
      • Issue: 4
      • Pages: 49-53
      • Publisher: Beijing Baishideng BioMed Scientific Co., Ltd
      • Publication type: Article
      • Bibliographic status: Published

      Professor Johannes Attems
      Professor of Neuropathology, Honorary Consultant Pathologist