Saturday, May 07, 2011

Do Immune System Ills Help Drive Type 2 Diabetes?

(HealthDay News) -- New research suggests that the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes may be linked to an immune system reaction gone awry.

"The main point of this study is trying to shift the emphasis in thinking of type 2 diabetes as a purely metabolic disease, and instead emphasize the role of the immune system in type 2," said study co-author Dr. Daniel Winer, an endocrine pathologist at Toronto General Hospital in Canada. When the research began, Winer was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University in California.

The researchers have identified immune system antibodies in people who are obese and insulin-resistant that aren't present in people who are obese without insulin resistance. They also tested a drug that modifies the immune system in mice fed a fatty diet, and found that the medication could help maintain normal blood sugar levels.

The findings were published online April 17 in the journal Nature Medicine. Funding for the study was provided by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Read more...

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