We are working to understand human metabolism and what happens when this biological system breaks down. The problem is more important than ever, given the increasing burden that diabetes and other metabolic dysfunctions have on human health and society.

Blocking Immune Cell Treats New Type of Age-Related Diabetes

Diabetes is often the result of obesity and poor diet choices, but for some older adults the disease might simply be a consequence of aging. New research has discovered that diabetes—or insulin resistance—in aged, lean mice has a different cellular cause than the diabetes that results from weight gain (type 2). And the findings point toward a possible cure for what the co-leading scientists, Ronald Evans and Ye Zheng, are now calling a new kind of diabetes (type 4). In mice with age-related disease, the labs found abnormally high levels of immune cells called T regulatory cells (Tregs) inside fat tissue. Mice with obesity-related diabetes, on the other hand, had normal levels of Tregs within the tissue, despite having more fat tissue. When Tregs were blocked from accumulating in the fat, mice no longer developed type 4 diabetes in old age. The work was published November 18, 2015 in Nature.

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