Fat Cells Play Key Role in Development of Type 2 Diabetes
Cellular changes in fat tissue, not the immune system, lead to the “hyper-inflammation” characteristic of obesity-related glucose intolerance and type 2 diabetes, according to new research from the University of Cincinnati (UC).
Cancer and cell biology experts say this new discovery about the cellular mechanisms behind glucose intolerance may provide a different target for drugs to treat type 2 diabetes as well as insights into how aggressive cancers form.
The study is reported in the July 7, 2010, issue of the scientific journal Cell Metabolism.
For this study, the research team looked at the role of a specific gene known as protein kinase C (PKC)-zeta, which has been
implicated as a key cellular contributor to malignant tumor growth. Using a preclinical animal model, they found that PKC-zeta had a dual role in the molecular signaling that leads to inflammation, switching from acting as a regulator of inflammation to a proinflammation agent in different circumstances.
“This finding is quite novel because current drug development efforts target immune cells (macrophages, T-cells) to eliminate this hyperinflammation. Our research suggests obesity-related glucose intolerance has nothing to do with the immune system. It may be more effective to target adipocytes (fat cells),” explained the investigators from the University of Cincinnati’s cancer and cell biology department.
In normal cells, they explain, PKC-zeta regulates the balance between cellular inflammatory responses to maintain glucose
control. During obesity-induced inflammation, however, the function of PKC-zeta changes and the molecule begins to promote
inflammation by causing adipocytes to secrete a substance (IL-6) that travels in large quantities to the liver to cause insulin resistance.”We believe a similar mechanism of action is at play in malignant tumor development.
Now we are trying to understand how PKC-zeta regulates IL6 to better determine how we can manipulate the protein to help prevent diabetes and cancer,” they add.
This University of Cincinnati team is working with investigators at UC’s Drug Discovery Center to screen compounds that will inhibit PKC-zeta to be used in further research.
Funding for this research was provided by grants from the National Institutes of Health, American Diabetes Association, UMass Diabetes Endocrinology Research Center and Marie Curie Foundation. Scientists from the University of Massachussetts also participated
in the study.
University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center (2010, July 12).
Fat cells play key role in development of type 2 diabetes.
Executive Director, Acupuncture Physician
Dr. Riggin is FitFM - Family Wellness , is the Founder and Director of Healing Touch Oriental Medicine. As an inspiring health educator, in-demand speaker and doctor of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Dr. Mary has helped thousands of people completely turn their health around. Dr. Mary co-hosts and produces the wildly popular radio show "Food is the First Medicine" and her presentations and viewpoints on natural healthcarehave made her an in-demand and innovative expert in the natural health world.
Dr. Mary Riggin, produces and hosts Food is the First Medicine Talk Radio Show, and is a popular speaker. Since 1996 she has practiced natural medicine in the Tampa Bay area; her passion and purpose is to help as many people as possible. Listen to her weekly on TanTalk 1340AM in Tampa Bay, or online anytime, anywhere at www.foodismedicine.org.
She is former Vice Chair of the Florida State Board of Acupuncture and was appointed to this gubernatorial position by Governor Lawton Chiles and Governor Jeb Bush. She has been featured on various TV and radio shows and frequently teaches free classes at community and recreation centers throughout Pinellas County.
She is a published author and was featured in the book A Woman's Guide to Vitamins, Minerals and Alternative Healing, writes and publishes educational newsletters and brochures, and was elected to serve two consecutive terms as President of the Florida State Oriental Medical Association.
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