UCSD Study Looks At Link Between Obesity and Diabetes to Discover Root Cause

University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers believe that they have actually discovered the cause of Type 2 diabetes. The cause of diabetes is inflammation resulting from obesity leading to insulin resistance. The molecule LTB4 is released by immune cells known as macrophages. The macrophages are found in extra fat and releases LTB4 into the liver due to a positive feedback mechanism.

 

In a study done on mice, the researchers discovered that if a cell receptor that responds to LTB4 was removed, or blocked using a drug, insulin sensitivity is improved in the mice. With the findings of this study the researchers believe that more focus can be put on inhibiting inflammation as a method of improving insulin sensitivity and reversing the risk of diabetes.

 

The LTB4 binds with cell surfaces resulting in inflamed cells and as a result the body becomes insulin resistant. The study was lead by Pingping Li and colleagues and was funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and Merck Inc.

 

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