Could Type 2 Diabetes Ever Be Reversed?
Blocking inflammation in fat tissue may hold the key to preventing or even reversing type 2 diabetes, new research has found.
Australian and Japanese researchers made the discovery, which was reported in the journal Nature Immunology.
The researchers discovered that immune cells called regulatory T cells (Tregs), are crucial in controlling inflammation in fat tissue and in maintaining a healthy insulin sensitivity. Type 2 diabetics have a reduced sensitivity to insulin.
The scientists said Tregs are in effect the guardians of the immune system, preventing it from attacking the body’s own tissues. (Diabetes is an auto-immune disease, meaning that the body mistakenly believes it is under siege and attacks itself.)
The researchers also discovered that a hormone called IL-33 (interleukin-33) was able to selectively boost Treg populations in fat tissue, halting the development of Type 2 diabetes or even reversing the illness in laboratory models.
The discoveries, the scientists said, could lead to treatments that mimic the action of IL-33 and thus reduce obesity-related inflammation and type 2 diabetes.