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Inflamed Fat Cells and Diabetes Link

It has just been revealed by an Australian team of scientists working at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Victoria that there is a link between obesity and diabetes and that weight loss in the obese can remove the tendency to develop diabetes.

This revelation may be explained by the presence of inflammation causing cells present in fat tissue.

Development of Anti-Inflammatory Treatmens

obesity and diabetes linkProfessor Len Harrison and Dr John Wentworth, both from the Institute's Autoimmunity and Transplantation division are currently working on the creation of an option for developing anti-inflammatory treatments that are designed to prevent the problems of insulin resistance along with other health conditions that have been linked with obesity.

The study has revealed that insulin resistance in people suffering with obesity is related to inflammatory cells that are present in fat tissue. They are specifically looking at the group of macrophage cells that appear to have answered some questions in this area.

We already know that during an immune response to infection, the white blood cells created in bone marrow along with macrophages swing into action to play their role in the provision of immunity. The problems that occur in obese people are that macrophages travel into the fat tissue areas and trigger inflammation, which releases cytokines. Cytokines are chemical messenger molecules that are used in the communication that occurs between immune cells.

The resistance to insulin which is known to eventually lead to diabetes as well as heart disease, is now believed to be caused by cytokines.

Fat Tissue Analysis

Working at Monash University's Centre for Obesity Research and Education at the institute with Dr Gordon Smyth, Ms Belinda Phipson and Mr Gaetano Naselli together with Professor Paul O'Brien, Prof Harrison and Dr Wentworth have been working on the analysis of fat tissue using a group of over 100 Victorians who have undergone lap-band surgery.

Based on their findings, the first proof to be shown in humans revealed that macrophages in the fat tissue are indeed responsible for the release of cytokines that in turn affect cells causing them to respond inappropriately to insulin presence.

According to Professor Harrison, the occurrence of inflammation in fat tissue causes complications in obese people. These complications include insulin resistance and diabetes, cardiovascular disease resulting from the hardening of arteries as well as liver pathology.

He said, "These complications could be prevented by developing drugs that target certain cytokines released by the macrophages."

More importantly, the study revealed that when obese people lose weight the macrophages in their fat tissue disappear, along with the risk of developing the resistance to insulin that leads to diabetes and other illnesses.


Posted on Mon, 16 Aug 2010 in News | 0 Comments

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