CHEVY CHASE, Maryland / Science Daily / Science News / Health / May 9, 2010
"It's still not entirely clear why obesity causes insulin resistance," says Emelie Wallerstedt from the Institute of Medicine at the University of Gothenburg. "Inflammation could be part of the reason why obesity leads to 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. [rc]
Adapted from materials provided by
University of Gothenburg, via AlphaGalileo.
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