Diabetes mellitus is a complex multi-system disorder that may be classified as autoimmune mediated type 1 diabetes, or as insulin resistance associated type 2 diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, there is selective loss of the beta cells within the endocrine islets, as a consequence of T-cell and cytokine mediated destruction of these cells, perhaps in conjunction with destruction of the peri-islet Schwann cells. In type 2 diabetes, the etiology of the resistance ranges from post-receptor defects in the insulin signaling pathway to excessive production of adipocyte derived cytokines that antagonize insulin action to mitochondrial defects that interfere with glucose disposal. Proteome based technologies are providing new insights into these defects.
Korc, Murray, "Update on Diabetes Mellitus" (2004). Open Dartmouth: Faculty Open Access Articles. 3523.