In a thesis from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, researchers have discovered properties of insulin which reduce inflammation caused by obesity and can therefore lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Research has shown that both obesity and insulin resistance are affected by inflammatory conditions in the body. Previously it was believed that fat tissue served merely as a depository for fat, but now scientists know that it is also an important organ for the release of a wide range of different substances, including inflammatory molecules. In the thesis, the researchers managed to identify the properties of the inflammatory molecule IL-6.
“IL-6 impairs insulin signalling, but the insulin signalling itself can also inhibit and ‘turn off’ the IL-6 signal and inflammation,” says Wallerstedt. “The protein PKCdelta also plays an important role in the regulation of the IL-6 signal, and we have shown that if we disable the function of this molecule, the inflammation decreases.”
A greater understanding of these signalling mechanisms could make it possible in the future to develop medicines that can “turn off” the inflammation and so reduce the risk of insulin resistance and other obesity-related disorders.DIABETES
Publication data: Wallerstedt E, Smith U, Andersson CX. Protein kinase C-ä is involved in the inflammatory effect of IL-6 in mouse adipose cells. Diabetologia. 2010 Feb 12. [Epub ahead of print].For more information, please contact:
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