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The Immunology of Obesity

  July, 30 2009 7:33
your information resource in human molecular genetics

The potential mechanism by which chronic, mild inflammation of fat tissue in obese patients promotes the onset of diabetes, is reported in a series of studies published online in Nature Medicine.

In the first three studies, Satoshi Nishimura, Michael Dosch, Diane Mathis and their colleagues independently found that the presence of different populations of T cells is associated with insulin resistance as well as other metabolic disturbances seen in obese mice. In the fourth paper, Guo-Ping Shi and his colleagues established that mast cells -- immune cells commonly involved in allergic responses -- are similarly involved in obesity-related inflammatory responses.

Crucially, the four studies present evidence that targeting each of these different populations of immune cells reversed or prevented the metabolic dysfunction of the obese mice. These results raise the possibility of eventually treating metabolic disease with immunotherapy.

Author Contacts:

Satoshi Nishimura (The University of Tokyo, Japan)
E-mail: snishi-tky@umin.ac.jp

Michael Dosch (Hospital For Sick Children, Toronto, Canada)
E-mail: michael.dosch@mac.com

Diane Mathis (Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA USA)
E-mail: dm@hms.harvard.edu

Guo-Ping Shi (Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA)
E-mail: gshi@rics.bwh.harvard.edu

Abstracts available online:
Abstract of Paper 1.
Abstract of Paper 2.
Abstract of Paper 3.
Abstract of Paper 4.

(C) Nature Medicine press release.

Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza

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