Chronic systemic inflammation is a hallmark feature of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Both resident and recruited islet macrophages contribute to the proinflammatory milieu of the diabetic islet. However, macrophages also appear to be critical for β -cell formation during development and support β-cell replication in experimental models of pancreas regeneration. In light of these findings, perhaps macrophages in the islet need to be viewed more as a fulcrum where deleterious inflammatory activation is balanced with beneficial tissue repair processes. Undoubtedly, defining the factors that contribute to the ontogeny, heterogeneity, and functionality of macrophages in normal, diseased, and regenerating islets will be necessary to determine whether that fulcrum can be moved to preserve functional β-cell mass in persons with diabetes. The intent of this review is to introduce the reader to emerging concepts of islet macrophage biology that may challenge the perception that macrophage accumulation in islets is merely a pathological feature of type 2 diabetes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology