28 January 2015
A group of international researchers have found that combating inflammation in fat tissue may be able to prevent or reverse type 2 diabetes.
Researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne and the RIKEN Institute in Japan found that specialised immune cells called regulatory T cells (tregs) play an important role in guarding against the disease, as they both control inflammation in fatty tissue and help it maintain its sensitivity to insulin.
A particular subtype of tregs are found in fat tissues, and they have been found to vanish from the tissue of people who are obese. The team discovered that a hormone called interleukin-33 (IL-33) could encourage the growth and development of these tregs, which can effectively halt or reverse the process of type 2 diabetes.
Furthermore, the discovery could prove useful for treating other conditions in the future. As researcher Ajith Vasanthakumar explained: "When treg numbers are reduced, inflammatory diseases such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis can occur.”
Posted by Phillip Briggs
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