Treatment of diabetes mellitus

R. P. Robertson, D. J. Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


New treatment strategies for subjects with Type 1 (insulin-dependent) and Type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus are being developed. Pilot studies utilising insulin itself have been reported to prevent Type 1 diabetes in subjects likely, by immunogenetic and physiologic criteria, to develop clinically overt disease, while the results of nicoti-namide trials in these subjects remain preliminary. Immunotherapy with cyclosporin A and azathioprine can slow disease progression and may produce long-term remissions when given within two months of onset of clinically overt disease. In subjects with established disease, familial clustering of diabetic nephropathy may be related to concomitant susceptibility to hypertension and elevated rates of Na/H countertransport. Treatment of hypertension associated with the nephropathy appears to slow renal deterioration. Whether reversal of the metabolic consequences of insulin deficiency or resistance also prevents chronic diabetic complications has not been firmly established. In the presence of a reduced Beta-cell mass, moderate hyperglycaemia may itself contribute to decreased muscle glucose uptake but not glycogen synthesis in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Reversal of chronic hyperglycaemia by pancreas and islet cell transplantation, vanadate, and sulphonylureas are discussed as alternate strategies to insulin treatment in establishing normoglycaemia and furthering our understanding of insulin action and secretion at the cellular level. There remains a need to develop more sensitive biochemical and genetic markers to identify subjects at increased risk for developing chronic diabetic complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S8-S17
Issue number2 Supplement
StatePublished - Dec 1992


  • Diabetes mellitus
  • blood glucose control
  • diabetic nephropathy
  • glucose
  • glucose transport
  • immuno-genetics
  • immuno-intervention
  • sulphonylurea
  • transplantation


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