VI. Conclusions

As Susumu Seino pointed out, research on beta cell signaling represents a path for improving diabetes therapy.39 As drug therapy is commonly given to patients with diabetes and because insulin secretagogues are widely used, a better knowledge of the mechanisms of beta cell signaling will favor our understanding of how an insulin secretagogue works, help with the design of new drugs, and improve therapy.

The 18th Servier-IGIS symposium revisited beta cell signaling and uncovered new mechanisms and promising approaches for the therapy of type 2 diabetes. In particular, recent advances in the understanding of the allosteric modulation of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, GPCRs, or ion channels and how this modulation impacts beta cell function opens the way for new therapeutic strategies. The intracellular regulator (Ca2+ and cAMP) systems also offer potential targets for the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes, and metabolomics applied to beta cells has uncovered new regulatory pathways. In addition, recent data suggest that exosomes—vesicles involved in both organ cross talk and beta cell to beta cell microRNA transfer—could transduce apoptotic signals and play a role in the autoimmune destruction of beta cells and in type 1 diabetes.