Diabetes is a disease that currently no cure available. New research provides a better understanding of the disease that may someday help in discovering a cure. But for now, researchers are still uncovering the puzzles and trying to better understand the disease that now affects millions of people worldwide. Some new research suggests that diabetes may be an inflammatory disease.
Researchers from Denmark uncovered further evidence that type 2 diabetes may be an inflammatory disease. The findings can shed light to what happens inthe body that leads to type 2 diabetes and what may likely be causing the complications associated with the disease.
In the said study, the researchers found out in lab mice under the early stages of the disease, macrophages, which is a specific type of immune cell, invade the pancreatic tissue. These inflammatory cells then produce a large amount of cytokines, which destroy the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, leading to diabetes.
According to Alexander Rosendahl, Ph.D., from the Department of Diabetes Complication Biology at Novo Nordisk A/S, located in Malov, Denmark, “The study may provide novel insights allowing development of tailor-made anti-inflammatory based therapies reducing the burden of type 2 patients. These novel treatments may prove to complement existing therapies such as insulin and GLP-1 analogues.”
In the said study, the scientists compared obese mice that developed diabetes to healthy mice. The obese mice were monitored at a very young age when they showed signs of early diabetes up to an age where they begin to display systemic complications in multiple organs as a result of the disease. The presence of macrophages around the beta cells in the pancreas were also monitored using state-of-the-art cytometric technology, making monitoring at a cellular level possible. In both the early and late stages, the diabetic mice showed significantly higher amounts of macrophages in pancreatic tissue as compared to healthy mice. The results of the study were published in the January 2014 issue of Journal of Leukocyte Biology.
Source: Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. “More evidence suggests type 2 diabetes is inflammatory disease.” ScienceDaily, 2 Jan. 2014. Web. 8 Jan. 2014.
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