The impact of pancreatic beta cell heterogeneity on type 1 diabetes pathogenesis

Richard K. P. Benninger, Craig Dorrell, David Hodson, Gary A. Rutter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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Purpose of review: To discuss advances in our understanding of β cell heterogeneity and the ramifications of this for type 1 diabetes (T1D) and its therapy.

Recent findings: A number of studies have challenged the long-standing dogma that the majority of beta cells are eliminated in T1D. As many as 80% are present in some T1D subjects. Why don't these cells function properly to release insulin in response to high glucose? Other findings deploying single cell "omics" to study both healthy and diseased cells - from patients with both T1D and type 2 diabetes (T2D) - have revealed cell subpopulations and heterogeneity at the transcriptomic/protein level between individual cells. Finally, our own and others' findings have demonstrated the importance of functional beta cell sub-populations for insulin secretion.

Summary: Heterogeneity may endow beta cells with molecular features that predispose them to failure/death during T1D.
Original languageEnglish
Article number112
JournalCurrent Diabetes Reports
Issue number11
Early online date24 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018


  • beta cell
  • type 1 diabetes
  • insulin
  • heterogeneity
  • transcriptomics
  • imaging


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