Allergy drug may reduce obesity and diabetes

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Researchers have linked type 2 diabetes and obesity with immunology. These new research studies published in Nature Medicine, by Harvard Medical School researchers.

In the first study, researchers used two common over-the-counter allergy medications to reduce both obesity and type 2 diabetes in mice. The medications, called Zaditor and cromolyn, stabilize a population of inflammatory immune cells called mast cells.

In the second study, researchers found that a kind of white blood cell called a regulatory T cell, once thought to manage only other white blood cells, also acts as a liaison between the metabolic and immune systems??”in this case, controlling inflammation in fat tissue. Fat tissue from obese and insulin-resistant mice and people is marked by a dramatic absence of this cell type, in dramatic contrast to an already reported overabundance in fat tissue of inflammatory immune cells called macrophages.

“It seems that we’re seeing the emergence of a new biomedical discipline: immunometabolism,” says HMS professor of pathology Diane Mathis, senior author on one of the papers.

Both papers will appear online July 26 in Nature Medicine.

Source: Harvard Medical School, USA


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