2 décembre 2021: Pr Marc Donath


Attendance in person for UNIGE/HUG members only
Présentiel réservé uniquement aux membres UNIGE/HUG

Pr Marc Y. Donath

Division of endocrinology, diabetology & metabolism, University Hospital Basel



«Islet inflammation: physiology, pathology and treatment»

Morphological and therapeutic interventions have uncovered an inflammatory process in patients with type 2 diabetes. This inflammation is due to a pathological activation of the innate immune system by metabolic stress and is largely governed by IL-1 signaling. Initially, the inflammatory response is probably deployed to promote adaptation and regeneration. Indeed, we identified a role for IL-1β and insulin in the regulation of both metabolism and immunity in response to feeding. Yet, as it becomes chronic, activation of auto-inflammatory processes may then become deleterious. It follows that modulation of inflammatory mediators may present as a possible causal therapy. This is supported by clinical studies showing that IL-1 antagonism decreases glycated hemoglobin. Furthermore, IL-1 antagonism prevents heart failure and cardiovascular diseases, the major complication of diabetes.


Marc Donath is Head of the Clinic for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at the University Hospital of Basel, and Research Dean at the University of Basel. He has made numerous contributions to our understanding of the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes, his most important being the identification of an inflammatory process underlying failure of insulin production in this disease. Thereby he showed that metabolic stress induces an IL-1β mediated immune response. He confirmed this hypothesis in the first clinical study showing that modulation of the immune system may improve metabolism in patients with type 2 diabetes. His work has contributed to the concept that the innate immune system is an integral component in the regulation of metabolism, i. e. immunometabolism.

2 déc. 2021

Frontiers in biomedicine