Uncovering the Role of Cell-Level Oxygen Deficiency in Insulin Resistance

New research published in the June 5 edition of Cell is the first to detail a complex sequence of early cellular responses to a high-fat diet that can eventually lead to obesity-related diabetes. The study findings also suggest new molecular targets for preventing or reversing the process. Diabetes is the 7th largest cause of death in the US, and is frequently related to a number of chronic pain conditions including diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

By detailing the etiology of obesity-related diabetes, by which cells in adipose tissue develop O2 deficiency, become inflamed, and systemically insulin resistant, the new findings also point to the existence of two potential therapeutic targets, identified as ANT2 and HIF-1alpha. The researchers suggest that inhibiting either could blunt, or even reverse, the damaging cellular sequence leading to obesity-related diabetes. Read a news story about the findings here.

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