BACKGROUND - The sex of an individual affects glucose homeostasis and the pathophysiology, incidence, and prevalence of diabetes as well as the response to therapy.
SCOPE OF THE REVIEW - This review focuses on clinical and experimental sex differences in islet cell biology and dysfunction during development and in adulthood in human and animal models. We discuss sex differences in β-cell and α-cell function, heterogeneity, and dysfunction. We cover sex differences in communication between gonads and islets and islet-cell immune interactions. Finally, we discuss sex differences in β-cell programming by nutrition and other environmental factors during pregnancy.
MAJOR CONCLUSIONS - Important sex differences exist in islet cell function and susceptibility to failure. These differences represent sex-related biological factors that can be harnessed for gender-based prevention of and therapy for diabetes.
Published by Elsevier GmbH.