Scientists uncover key mechanism causing type 2 diabetes-related inflammation

Individuals with type 2 diabetes are at a much higher risk of developing heart and kidney disease. A new study has helped shed some light on why this is.

A team of researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine has found that a group of T cells in the immune system cause an inflammatory response to high-fat diets in people with type 2 diabetes. This type of inflammation is known to cause damage to tissues of the body.

More importantly, the team may have found a way to block this process. They discovered that for T cells to continue their pro-inflammatory response, they require constant interaction with monocytes, which are immune system cells that respond to inflammation. Researchers suggested that bringing both types of immune cells back into balance may play a key role in reducing inflammation.

"The true importance of our observations is the indication that altering balance among immune system cells could be a fundamentally novel treatment for type 2 diabetes-associated inflammation and perhaps insulin resistance," said Barbara Nikolajczyk, who led the study.

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