Beta cell:

Beta cell:

Beta cells or the pancreatic beta cells are cells present in the pancreas that produce insulin. They regulate the body’s carbohydrate metabolism and store insulin in them in the form of beta granules. When blood glucose level increases after the consumption of food, this insulin is released. The pancreas itself is a fish-like organ that is located behind the stomach across the back of the abdomen. The beta cells are located in the pancreatic islets or the islets of Langerhans. Beta cells in these islets of Langerhans produce insulin, C-peptide, and amylin (See: Amylin). While C-peptide assists in preventing neuropathy and vascular complications, amylin slows the rate of the glucose entering the bloodstream. Diabetes mellitus, both type 1 and type 2, is characterized by the progressive failure of beta cells in the pancreas. In the case of type 1 diabetes, beta cell destruction happens due to autoimmune reasons. In the case of type 2 diabetes, prolonged exposure to high glucose levels and free fatty acids leads to beta cell dysfunction. This beta cell dysfunction can lead to beta cell apoptosis (death of cells). The functional loss of beta cell mass gradually leads to insulin resistance and then type 2 diabetes. The causes for beta cell dysfunction that leads to type 2 diabetes are numerous. Along with the increased apoptosis of the beta cells, there is reduced capacity for new cell generation ultimately leading to reduced beta cell mass. Moreover, glucotoxicity and lipotoxicity where excess blood sugar levels and high lipid profile values have toxic effects on the beta cells leading to their dysfunction and thus type 2 diabetes. Another factor that leads to beta cell dysfunction is the oxidative stress in which there is imbalance in the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to neutralize them with antioxidants.

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