AJTR Copyright © 2009-All rights reserved. Published by e-Century Publishing Corporation, Madison, WI 53711
Am J Translational Res 2010;2(3):316-331

Review Article
The role of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes:
from molecular mechanism to clinical implication

Yi-Cheng Chang, Lee-Ming Chuang

Genomics Research Center, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan; Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan
University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan; Institute of Clinical Medicine, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University,
Taipei, Taiwan.

Received May 22, 2010; accepted May , 2010; available online May, 2010

Abstract: A surplus of food supply has evoked a worldwide increase in incidence of type 2 diabetes. This trend
will have a significant impact on the life span of people living in modern societies. In contrast, reduced calorie
intake has significant impact on preventing type 2 diabetes and increasing longevity. Increased production of
reactive oxygen species (ROS), resulting in oxidative stress, has long been proposed as a unifying mechanism
linking nutrient excess and diabetes. This review describes the updated mechanism by which oxidative stress
provoked by nutrient excess contributes to the development of insulin resistance and pancreatic beta-cell failure.
However, despite the promising results in cellular and animal models, major clinical trials have failed to
demonstrate beneficial effect of antioxidants on the prevention of type 2 diabetes or the degree of glycemic control
in individuals with diabetes. Emerging evidence shows that ROS also function as an insulin-signaling molecule
in normal physiology and casts doubt on the potential beneficial effect of antioxidants. The gap between basic
research and clinical outcomes heightens the importance for elucidating the precise molecular mechanisms by
which cellular redox status affects insulin signaling.(AJTR1005002).

Key words: Reactive oxygen species, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, pancreatic beta-cell

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Address all correspondence to:
Lee-Ming Chuang, MD, PhD
Department of Internal Medicine
National Taiwan University Hospital
7 Chung-Shan South Road
Taipei, Taiwan
Tel: +886-2-23123456 ext. 65038
Fax: +886-2-23938859