This new discovery could pave the way to the development of new treatment to beat type 2 diabetes. Researchers at the UCSD (University of California in San Diego) School of Medicine have discovered the cause of insulin resistance.
They say that inflammation aggravated by the immune cells cause insulin resistance which leads to type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is linked to obesity which is the world’s most common metabolic disease. The theory for sometime now is that the inflammation related to obesity leads to insulin resistance.
Now with the use of mouse models, the scientists at UCSD provided evidence that by stopping inflammatory pathway, resistance to insulin and type 2 diabetes can be avoided. I am revisiting this issue hoping that they have been successful at finding treatment based on this discovery.
The lead investigators of this study are Michael Karin, PhD who is pharmacology professor at UCSD and Jerrold Olefsky, who is the Scientific Affairs’ Associate Dean and also a renowned professor of medicine. Their findings are featured in the Cell Metabolism‘s November 7 issue.
Olefsky said that their research demonstrates that insulin resistance can be disconnected from fatty fat increase that is linked to obesity. When immune cells get into fat, they release a substance called cytokines. These cause fat cells to become resistant to insulin which could lead to type 2 diabetes.
The UCSD research team demonstrated that by knocking out the component responsible for making the fat cells resistant to insulin, they were able to interrupt insulin resistance. They also used a control group of mice. Both groups of mice were fed with high fat diet. The control group diet resulted in obesity and inflammation. This in turn caused insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
The other group whose component that led to inflammation was knocked out also became obese. But herein lies the importance of this research. This group did not show insulin resistance at all. This led the scientists to conclude that disarming the inflammatory pathway could break off the surge that leads to insulin resistance and ultimately to type 2 diabetes.