New findings on why type 2 diabetes is an inflammatory disease

Inflammation does not do a body good.

In addition to contributing to a host of health conditions from arthritis to cancer, researchers are now gaining more evidence that inflammatory responses also contribute significantly to the onset of type 2 diabetes.

A study recently published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology revealed that, in mice, immune cells called macrophages disturb pancreatic tissue during the early stages of diabetes. These inflammation-causing cells then produce large amounts of cytokines, which are pro-inflammatory proteins. The end result? Insulin-producing cells are wiped out in the pancreas, which results in diabetes.

Insight for new therapies

The Denamrk research team suggests their findings might shed light on new diabetes therapies that target inflammatory responses within the body.

"The study may provide novel insights allowing development of tailor-made anti-inflammatory based therapies reducing the burden of type 2 patients," said researcher Alexander Rosendahl, from the Department of Diabetes Complication Biology at Novo Nordisk A/S in Denmark. "These novel treatments may prove to complement existing therapies such as insulin and GLP-1 analogues."

The team also noted that the growing body of research on obesity and type 2 diabetes holds that inflammation plays a key role in the development and severity of these health conditions.

"This study sheds light on how a key inflammatory cell is connected to disease and what might go wrong when someone has type 2 diabetes," John Wherry, Deputy Editor of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, said in a statement."The knowledge gained from such studies offers hope that new immune-based therapies could be developed to mitigate the severity of such diseases."

Source:
Medical News Today

Image courtesy of lamnee/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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