Findings further link inflammation, obesity, and type-2 diabetes
Chronic inflammation is being implicated in diseases as widespread as cancer, heart disease, Alzheimers disease, and most recently, diabetes and obesity. The role of the hormone resistin in people with these diseases has been questioned because it is primarily secreted by immune cells called macrophages in humans rather than fat cells, as in mice. Nevertheless, resistin is elevated in some people with diabetes and obesity. Higher levels of resistin are associated with insulin resistance. But what is the connection among inflammation, insulin resistance, and obesity?
Insulin resistance, which occurs when muscle, fat, and liver cells fail to use insulin effectively to regulate blood sugar, usually precedes type-2 diabetes and is part of metabolic syndrome. A new study from the laboratory of Mitch Lazar, MD, PhD, Chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, has found that by simulating inflammation in human macrophages and patients levels of resistin substantially increase. In people, the resistin level in blood increases by about 400 percent. "This suggests that resistin is part of the inflammatory process," says Lazar. "This leads us to hypothesize that human resistin also contributes to insulin resistance." He and colleagues published their findings in the November 30 issue of PloS, Medicine.
Karen Kreeger | EurekAlert!
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