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Common allergy drug reduces obesity and diabetes in mice
Date:7/26/2009

effects of obesity and why it can spread systemically to cause chronic health problems," says Shoelson, an endocrinologist. "It's possible that the inflammation caused by macrophages results in insulin resistance. And it's more likely, from what we've just seen, that Tregs are keeping the macrophages in check in normal fat tissue, thus preventing inflammation."

For over a decade, Tregs have been known as guardians for the immune system, ensuring that when white blood cells attack a foreign pathogen they don't become overzealous and harm healthy host tissue in a kind of friendly fire. Malfunctioning Tregs, however, have recently been implicated in diseases as diverse as multiple sclerosis and certain cancers.

"Now we're seeing that Tregs may be needed to prevent metabolic abnormalities as well," says Mathis. She adds, half joking, "As an immunologist, I always thought that type 2 diabetes was a pretty boring condition. After these findings, I'm starting to change my mind."


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Contact: David Cameron
communications@hms.harvard.edu
617-432-0442
Harvard Medical School
Source:Eurekalert

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