Endocrinologists from the University at Buffalo are providing one more link in the growing chain of evidence pointing to chronic cellular inflammation as the precursor of heart disease and diabetes.
In research published in the Sept 21 issue of Circulation, the researchers show for the first time that circulating mononuclear cells -- the bodys monocytes (the largest type of white blood cell) and lymphocytes -- exist in a proinflammatory state in obese persons known to be at increased risk of developing diabetes, heart disease or both. "These cells are creating a lot of nuisance in the obese," said Paresh Dandona, M.D., Ph.D., head of UBs Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and senior author on the study. "They enter the artery and set up atherosclerosis. They activate fat cells to produce more proinflammatory factors. They interfere with insulin signaling, causing insulin resistance. They even enter the brain." Husam Ghanim, Ph.D., research associate, is first author on the study.
The good news, said Dandona, is that, based on these findings, the status of mononuclear cells from one blood sample could serve as an easy early-warning system for the risk of developing insulin resistance and circulatory problems.
Lois Baker | EurekAlert!
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