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Exercise as a non-pharmacological intervention to protect pancreatic beta cells in individuals with type 1 and type 2 diabetes – published online 19/11/2022

Graphical abstract for Coomans de Brachène article

Alexandra Coomans de Brachène, Corentin Scoubeau, Anyïshai E. Musuaya, Jose Maria Costa-Junior, Angela Castela, Julie Carpentier, Vitalie Faoro, Malgorzata Klass, Miriam Cnop, Decio L. Eizirik

Exercise training is known to reduce diabetes risk. In this issue, Coomans de Brachène et al ( report that serum obtained from 82 individuals after 8–12 weeks of exercise training protects human pancreatic beta cells against apoptosis induced by the endoplasmic reticulum stressor thapsigargin, compared with serum obtained from the same individuals before training. The protective effect was observed regardless of the type of exercise training, or sex, age, BMI, ancestry or diabetes status (type 1, type 2 or non-diabetic) of the individuals. The study points to a role for muscle-released clusterin in this protective effect, and other exerkines may also be involved. The authors highlight the unexpected potential to preserve beta cell health by exercise training and suggest that exercise could be tested as a non-pharmacological approach to preserve beta cell mass in the early stages of diabetes.

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