The breakthrough could pave the way for novel treatments for Type 2 diabetes and other metabolic illnesses.
A new study conducted by UConn Health researchers has shown that removing aged, malfunctioning cells in human fat also reduces diabetes symptoms. This breakthrough could pave the way for novel treatments for Type 2 diabetes and other metabolic illnesses.
Your body’s cells are constantly renewing themselves, with older cells dying and being replaced by new ones. However, this procedure can sometimes go poorly. Damaged cells can linger on occasion. They’re called senescent cells, and they hang around, causing harm to adjacent cells. Their negative influence alters how nearby cells manage glucose or proteins, resulting in metabolic issues.
In the United States, type 2 diabetes is the most common metabolic condition. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it affects about 34 million people in the United States or one out of every ten people.
Insulin resistance is common among diabetics, and it’s linked to obesity, lack of exercise, and a bad diet. According to new research from Ming Xu and colleagues at UConn Health School of Medicine, it also has a lot to do with senescent cells in people’s body fat.
Xu and his colleagues investigated the efficacy of a medication cocktail that included dasatinib and quercetin. In mice, dasatinib and quercetin had previously been proven to increase lifespan and improve health. In their study, they discovered that these medicines can kill senescent cells in human fat tissue cultures.
Individuals with obesity who were known to have metabolic issues gave the tissue. Without therapy, human fat tissues caused metabolic difficulties in immune-compromised mice. The negative effects of adipose tissue were nearly completely eradicated after therapy with dasatinib and quercetin.
“These drugs can make human fat healthy, and that could be great,” says Xu. “The results were very impressive and cleared the route for potential clinical trials.”
Xu and his colleagues at UConn Health and the Mayo Clinic are currently exploring clinical trials with the dasatinib and quercetin combo to investigate if the medications may improve Type 2 diabetes in humans.
“Although these preclinical results were very promising, large scale clinical trials are absolutely critical to examine the efficacy and safety of these drugs in humans before clinical use”, emphasized Xu.
The team is also looking into a previously unknown senescent cell population. These senescent cells have high amounts of p21, a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor that is also a crucial marker for cellular senescence. Xu’s team found that clearing these senescent cells once a month is helpful for both reducing the development of diabetes and easing existing diabetic symptoms in obese mice utilizing a newly designed mouse model.
According to Xu, earlier study has concentrated on different cell markers, but the effects of clearing away cells primarily expressing p21 on easing diabetes were so significant that this marker should receive greater attention.