Researchers uncover cellular mechanism responsible for chronic inflammation, type 2 diabetes

December 21, 2010, Boston University Medical Center

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have demonstrated that certain T cells require input from monocytes in order to maintain their pro-inflammatory response in people with type 2 diabetes (T2D). The study also showed, for the first time, how a loss in homeostasis in this group of T cells most likely promotes chronic inflammation associated with T2D.

Barbara Nikolajczyk, PhD, an associate professor of microbiology and medicine at BUSM, is the senior author of the study, which is currently featured in an online edition of the Journal of Immunology.

T2D is a chronic inflammatory disease in which the body has high levels of glucose in the blood due to the lack of insulin or the body's inability to use insulin efficiently. The incidence of T2D continues to rise at alarming rates in both children and adults in the United States.

Previous research done in mice has shown that T cells play a critical role in the development of in response to a high fat diet, often leading to T2D. Additional findings indicate that T cells exhibit a pro-inflammatory response more often than an anti-inflammatory response.

Working with human T cells, the team observed that in order for T cells to exhibit the pro-inflammatory response, they required constant interaction with monocytes, indicating that monocytes play an indirect role in chronic inflammation and T2D.

While it is not known what the homeostatic balance levels are between pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory , this study indicates the need to restore a balance in order to halt and T2D.

"The true importance of our observations is the indication that altering balance among could be a fundamentally novel treatment for T2D-associated inflammation and perhaps insulin resistance," said Nikolajczyk.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Fabric imbued with optical fibers helps fight skin diseases

February 23, 2018
A team of researchers with Texinov Medical Textiles in France has announced that their PHOS-ISTOS system, called the Fluxmedicare, is on track to be made commercially available later this year. The system consists of a piece ...

DNA gets away: Scientists catch the rogue molecule that can trigger autoimmunity

February 22, 2018
A research team has discovered the process - and filmed the actual moment - that can change the body's response to a dying cell. Importantly, what they call the 'Great Escape' moment may one day prove to be the crucial trigger ...

Low-calorie diet enhances intestinal regeneration after injury

February 22, 2018
Dramatic calorie restriction, diets reduced by 40 percent of a normal calorie total, have long been known to extend health span, the duration of disease-free aging, in animal studies, and even to extend life span in most ...

Artificial intelligence quickly and accurately diagnoses eye diseases and pneumonia

February 22, 2018
Using artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques, researchers at Shiley Eye Institute at UC San Diego Health and University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues in China, Germany and Texas, ...

Gut microbes protect against sepsis—mouse study

February 22, 2018
Sepsis occurs when the body's response to the spread of bacteria or toxins to the bloodstream damages tissues and organs. The fight against sepsis could get a helping hand from a surprising source: gut bacteria. Researchers ...

Breakthrough could lead to better drugs to tackle diabetes and obesity

February 22, 2018
Breakthrough research at Monash University has shown how different areas of major diabetes and obesity drug targets can be 'activated', guiding future drug development and better treatment of diseases.

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.