Mon Aug 6, 2012, 07:56 AM
xchrom (100,152 posts)
White Blood Cells Mediate Insulin Resistance: Neutrophils' Role Is a Surprise
This is a false-colored, scanning electron micrograph of a neutrophil. (Credit: UC San Diego School of Medicine)
ScienceDaily (Aug. 5, 2012) — Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine say neutrophils, an abundant type of white blood cell typically tasked with attacking bacteria and other foreign invaders, also plays an unexpected role in mediating insulin resistance -- the central characteristic of type 2 diabetes, which afflicts an estimated 26 million Americans.
he findings are published in the August 5, 2012 Advance Online Publication of Nature Medicine.
Neutrophils are the first immune cells to respond to tissue inflammation, and can promote chronic inflammation by summoning other white blood cells called macrophages. Chronic low-grade inflammation -- common in adipose or fat tissue -- is an important cause of systemic insulin resistance.
Using liver and fat cells from mice and humans and live mouse models, a team led by Jerrold M. Olefsky, MD, associate dean for scientific affairs at UC San Diego Health Sciences and professor of medicine, discovered that an enzyme secreted by neutrophils called neutrophil elastase (NE) impairs insulin signaling and boosts resistance. Conversely, deletion of NE in obese mice fed a high-fat diet improved insulin sensitivity
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