A strain of white blood cells could hold potential as a mediator of insulin resistance, according to a recent study.
Researchers at the University of California found that neutrophils, typically used to attack bacteria and foreign invaders, play a role in Type 2 diabetes.
The white blood cells respond to tissue inflammation and can promote chronic inflammation, which is a cause of insulin resistance.
Neutrophils secrete the enzyme neutrophil elastase, which impairs the insulin signalling. By deleting the enzyme in mice, researchers were able to improve insulin sensitivity.
Dr Da Young Oh, co-author of the study, commented: "These results are largely unexpected. Although several immune cells have been established in the etiology of insulin resistance, the role of neutrophils in this process has remained unclear until now."
Neutrophils have also been found to play a key role in the development of arthritis by causing the inflammation around the joint. Being able to mediate these inflammatory properties is also important to treat this condition.
Find the nearest Barchester care home.