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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2015, Article ID 160928, 11 pages
Review Article

Emerging Role of PACAP as a New Potential Therapeutic Target in Major Diabetes Complications

1Section of Human Anatomy and Histology, Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, University of Catania, 95123 Catania, Italy
2Section of Pharmacology, Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, University of Catania, 95123 Catania, Italy
3Semel Institute, Department of Psychiatry, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA

Received 12 January 2015; Revised 31 March 2015; Accepted 7 April 2015

Academic Editor: Janaka Karalliedde

Copyright © 2015 Rubina Marzagalli et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Enduring diabetes increases the probability of developing secondary damage to numerous systems, and these complications represent a cause of morbidity and mortality. Establishing the causes of diabetes remains the key step to eradicate the disease, but prevention as well as finding therapies to ameliorate some of the major diabetic complications is an equally important step to increase life expectancy and quality for the millions of individuals already affected by the disease or who are likely to develop it before cures become routinely available. In this review, we will firstly summarize some of the major complications of diabetes, including endothelial and pancreatic islets dysfunction, retinopathy, and nephropathy, and then discuss the emerging roles exerted by the neuropeptide pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP) to counteract these ranges of pathologies that are precipitated by the prolonged hyperglycemic state. Finally, we will describe the main signalling routes activated by the peptide and propose possible future directions to focus on developing more effective peptide-based therapies to treat the major complications associated with longstanding diabetes.