March 24, 2022
Journal Article

GDF15: a potential therapeutic target for type 1 diabetes


Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) is a pancreatic disease, which is marked by immune-mediated ? cell destruction causing hyperglycemic phenotype. Recently, our team has demonstrated the beneficial role of GDF15 in preventing T1D-associated insulitis. Therefore, in this review, we discuss the therapeutic potential of GDF15 in treating T1D and map the promising avenues demanding increased focus in this field. Areas covered: Several therapeutic options exist for management of T1D, however, the demand for new and efficient therapies persists, particularly for interventions that may prevent or delay disease onset. Growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15) is a known diabetes biomarker which has shown impressive tissue-protective actions across a broad range of metabolic disorders. There is a tremendous amount of overlap between the two topics (GDF15 & T1D), however, the connections were uncharted. We discuss all these connections and the possibility of exploiting them to make GDF15 a T1D therapy. Expert Opinion: The newly discovered GDF15 primary receptor and associated signaling pathway has accelerated the excitement by making it a druggable target. However, the there exists a huge gap in knowledge regarding the mechanism by which GDF15 functions in the peripheral tissues. In this context, reports of GDF15 receptor in pancreas, gives a convincing argument of direct GDF15 effect. Further, GDF15’s role in regulating mitochondrial, ER and metabolic stress, makes it an ideal T1D candidate.

Published: March 24, 2022


Sarkar S., J.T. Melchior, H.R. Henry, F. Syed, R.G. Mirmira, E.S. Nakayasu, and T.O. Metz. 2022. GDF15: a potential therapeutic target for type 1 diabetes. Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets 26, no. 1:57 - 67. PNNL-SA-168207. doi:10.1080/14728222.2022.2029410

Research topics