High blood sugars can cause the immune system to malfunction, thereby triggering infection, according to new research.
The study, conducted by researchers from Case Western Reserve University, provides further evidence of the importance of careful blood glucose management.
The researchers found that uncontrolled blood glucose levels trigger the release of destructive molecules called dicarbonyls that impair the body’s ability to fight off infection and inflammation.
The findings could provide the basis for novel treatments for people with diabetes who struggle to control their blood glucose levels.
“If our findings hold up in future in vivo animals experiments and in human tissues, we will have solid evidence for how this dicarbonyl mechanism works in the setting of uncontrolled diabetes to weaken hBD-2 function, and that of other beta-defensins,” said senior author Wesley M. Williams, PhD.
First author Janna Kiselar, assistant director and instructor at the Center for Proteomics and Bioinformatics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, added: “Our in vitro findings alone could have a significant impact on development of more effective antimicrobial treatment strategies for patients with uncontrolled diabetes.
“The findings also emphasise the importance of lowering high blood sugar and keeping it under control.”
The findings were published in PLOS ONE.

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