Journal of Physiology-London vol:558 issue:Pt 2 pages:369-80
It is well established that the acute rise in plasma glucose and in the incretin hormones glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (7-36) amide (GLP-1), as occurs during a meal, is of pivotal importance in regulating the minute-to-minute output of insulin from pancreatic beta cells. In addition to this well studied acute effect, both glucose and incretin hormones have been recently observed to determine the future secretory responsiveness of the cells. Such plasticity of the insulin secretory competence would imply that glucose and incretins not only act during the present meal, but also help to prepare the beta cells to function during the subsequent meal. Evidence supporting this hypothesis is growing as a result of physiological studies of cultured beta cells (either primary cells or beta cell lines), as well as from an increasing number of large-scale gene expression studies, exploring transcriptional and post-transcriptional events in genes regulated by glucose and incretins. On the basis of this hypothesis, one can speculate that genetic or environmental disturbances of plasticity of the insulin secretory competence is one aspect of beta cell dysfunction that can contribute to the aetiology of type 2 diabetes.