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Insulin is secreted from the beta-cells of the pancreatic islets in response to an elevation of blood glucose concentration. This review describes a current view of the metabolic control of insulin secretion and the molecular mechanisms involved, including the role played by the beta-cell to ensure correct release of insulin as a result of electrical signals. It then considers what goes wrong in type 2 diabetes, a disease resulting from insufficient insulin secretion. It focuses on the influence of genetics exploring the theory of a genetic predisposition to type 2 diabetes, as well as the roles played by age and obesity. Finally, the mode of action of the hypoglycaemic sulphonylureas is discussed and the potential implications for the beta-cell associated with a sulphonylurea-based therapy.

Original publication




Journal article


British Journal of Diabetes and Vascular Disease

Publication Date





187 - 191