A team of Australian researchers may have found a potential new approach to treating diabetes, by manipulating a cytokine responsible for regulating beta cell stress.
The study has been conducted by researchers from Mater Research Institute at the University of Queensland who found that manipulating the cytokine interleukin 22 (IL-22) that is produced by immune cells can help relieve the stress in insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas, thereby reversing high blood sugar levels. The study has been published in the journal Nature Medicine.
"The research shows that IL-22 can restore the control of blood sugar levels by restoring appropriate insulin production and also correcting sensitivity to insulin in responsive tissues. This finding is significant because it means diabetics could potentially replace insulin injections with less frequent injections of IL-22", lead researcher Professor Mike McGuckin said.