Discovery may lead to new drugs to curb obesity, type 2 diabetes

October 11, 2012

(Medical Xpress)—An international study led by a researcher from The University of Western Australia for the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research (WAIMR) has produced exciting results that may lead to new drugs to treat obesity and reduce the incidence of Type 2 diabetes.

UWA Assistant Professor Vance Matthews led researchers in Melbourne, Texas and Japan to explore the effects of a protein on the surface of on conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Their results have appeared in the high-ranking immunology journal Immunology and Cell Biology, published by the .

Assistant Professor Matthews said the research was particularly important because had increased by 75% in the past 25 years, including an alarming increase in overweight and obese children. Insulin resistance correlated directly with obesity and could result in Type 2 diabetes, in which occurred in metabolically active body tissues.

"While my research looks at the growing problems of obesity and type 2 diabetes and how the inflammatory pathways are activated in our bodies, our discoveries also have far-reaching consequences for other diseases that involve inflammation," Assistant Professor Matthews said.

The study established that many parameters of the metabolic syndrome such as obesity and insulin resistance were significantly correlated with high levels of the metalloproteinase known as ADAM28 in .

The group explored interactions between the protein TNF-alpha – which is produced by numerous inflammatory cell types – and the metalloproteinase ADAM28. TNF-alpha is a well-known cytokine that promotes and increases the risk of Type 2 diabetes.

The study highlighted that the metalloproteinase ADAM28 may increase the release of TNF-alpha protein from the cell surface, and this effect may promote inflammation.

"Our project is very significant because it demonstrates for the first time the importance of ADAM28 in the metabolic syndrome, and further supports that metalloproteinase inhibition is a potential therapeutic target for anti-obesity agents," Assistant Professor Matthews said.

"This means that further down the track, drugs may become available to treat obesity, therefore reducing the incidence of type 2 diabetes."

Explore further: Researchers identify key regulator of inflammatory response

Related Stories

Researchers identify key regulator of inflammatory response

April 12, 2012

(Medical Xpress) -- Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have identified a gene that plays a key role in regulating inflammatory response and homeostasis. These findings could help lead to the development ...

Recommended for you

How the tuberculosis vaccine may protect against other diseases

December 6, 2016

The tuberculosis vaccine is well known to help protect against other infectious diseases, as well as cancer, but the exact mechanisms have not been clear. A study published December 6 in Cell Reports now shows that the broad-spectrum ...

Protecting babies from eczema with low-cost Vaseline

December 5, 2016

What if it was possible to prevent your child from getting eczema—a costly, inflammatory skin disorder—just by applying something as inexpensive as petroleum jelly every day for the first six months of his or her life?

How do white blood cells move so fast?

November 22, 2016

If you fall and scrape a knee, it's the job of white blood cells called neutrophils to rush to the site of infection and chase down invading bacteria.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.