Genes leading to insulin sensitivity may not be stimulated in type 2 diabetics

A study conducted at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine and Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland has shown that obese people carry abnormal genes and proteins that may contribute to insulin resistance.

Researchers examined a group of obese adults with type 2 diabetes between the ages of 18 and 25 and compared them to a control group. Both sets of participants followed a specific exercise plan four times a week for a period of three months. Following the study, muscle biopsies were extracted.

The team observed that after these exercise sessions, the level of mitochrondrial genes and proteins - such as PGC-1a and Mitofusin-2 - increased significantly in the control group. A rising level of these components has been shown to lead to better insulin sensitivity. However, they saw that the obese participants did not show an increase in these compounds.

"These results imply that we must classify patients with type 2 diabetes, identify the differences between the distinct phenotypes and consider specific treatments," said lead investigator Antonio Zorzano.

The team plans to organize a clinical study to examine more mitochondrial factors that are affected in obese patients.