Researchers at University of California have revealed that obesity causes inflammation and the inflammatory molecule LTB4 promotes insulin resistance, a first step in developing type 2 diabetes. They found that genetically removing the cell receptor that responds to LTB4, or blocking it with a drug, improves insulin sensitivity in obese mice.
Senior author Jerrold M. Olefsky said, "This study is important because it reveals a root cause of type 2 diabetes and now that we understand that LTB4 is the inflammatory factor causing insulin resistance, we can inhibit it to break the link between obesity and diabetes. When we disrupted the LTB4-induced inflammation cycle either through genetics or a drug, it had a beautiful effect and we saw improved metabolism and insulin sensitivity in the mice. Even though the mice were still obese, they were in much better shape."
The study appears in Nature Medicine.