Glucose uptake into pancreatic β cells by means of the glucose transporter GLUT-2, which has a high Michaelis constant, is essential for the normal insulin secretory response to hyperglycemia. In both autoimmune and nonautoimmune diabetes, this glucose transport is reduced as a consequence of down-regulation of the normal β-cell transporter. In autoimmune diabetes, circulating immunoglobulins can further impair this glucose transport by inhibiting functionally intact transporters. Insights into mechanisms of the unresponsiveness of β cells to hyperglycemia may improve the management and prevention of diabetes.
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