Researchers from Maynooth University, Ireland, have discovered a protein in the body that may be able to prevent the development of obesity-related type 2 diabetes.
The study, published in Immunity, suggests that the protein Pellino3 may counter obesity-related inflammation, contributing to the prevention of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
The high levels of abdominal found in obese people causes the production of a “pro-inflammatory” chemical that can reduce the body’s sensitivity to insulin. As a result, the functions performed by insulin – primarily the transportation of glucose to the cells for energy use – become less effective.
The researchers suggest that there is a direct correlation between abdominal fat tissue and Pellino3 levels: the protein is found more abundantly in leaner people.
The abdominal adipose of people with less body fat contained much higher levels of Pellino3 than the abdominal adipose tissue of obese people. Low levels of Pellino3 are linked to the production of IL-1, a protein that drives inflammation and significantly accelerates the development of type 2 diabetes.
Paul Moynagh, Professor of Immunology at Maynooth University, said: “After nearly three years of research we have identified a new regulatory mechanism for controlling diet-induced diabetes by highlighting a critical role for Pellino3 in regulating inflammation.
“The identification of this new role for Pellino3 is an extremely exciting breakthrough and one that could have important implications for the fight against diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
“My hope is that we can now build on this research and attempt to understand how we may be able to control of manipulate the Pellino3 protein as a method of preventing diabetes disease amongst those at risk.”

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