The Naturally Occurring Protein That Could Be Used To Prevent And Reverse The Effects That A High Fat Diet Has on Pancreas.
A new study reveals “a new therapeutic approach that could provide new drugs to tackle the root cause of obesity-related conditions by preventing the damage caused by systemic inflammation.”
A new study published today says that PEPITEM, a peptide or a small protein, may offer a groundbreaking approach to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity-related diseases, including hepatic steatosis or fatty liver.
The research team employed an animal model of obesity to examine if PEPITEM could counteract or halt the impact of a high-fat diet on the pancreas when delivered using a slow-release pump. Remarkably, the findings demonstrate that administering PEPITEM significantly reduced the swelling of cells that produce insulin in the pancreas and also considerably lowered the migration of immune cells into different tissues.
Dr Helen McGettrick and Dr Asif Iqbal, both from the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Inflammation and Ageing and Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, spearheaded the research team.
According to Dr. McGettrick, the results offer “a new therapeutic approach that could provide new drugs to tackle the root cause of obesity-related conditions by preventing the damage caused by systemic inflammation.”
PEPITEM, which is part of the adiponectin-PEPITEM pathway that regulates the start and severity of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, was first identified by Birmingham scientists in 2015.
Obesity has intricate and profound effects on metabolism in adipose tissue, impairs the pancreas, reduces insulin sensitivity, and eventually leads to hyperglycemia, the hallmark of type 2 diabetes. It also triggers a mild inflammatory reaction throughout the body, prompting white blood cells to infiltrate many tissues, including visceral adipose tissue (fat deposits located deep within the body, surrounding organs such as the liver and gut) and the peritoneal cavity (a thin membrane that encases the gut).
According to the latest study, which was published in Clinical and Experimental Immunology, the adiponectin-PEPITEM pathway establishes a link between obesity, the low-level inflammatory response it causes, and changes in the pancreas that precede diabetes.
In comparison to controls, treatment with PEPITEM while the mice were on a high-fat diet dramatically decreased the expansion of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas and the amount of white blood cells in the visceral adipose tissue and peritoneal cavity.
By giving the animals a high-fat diet before administering PEPITEM, the researchers also examined PEPITEM’s capacity to undo the effects of obesity. Amazingly, they had comparable outcomes.
According to Dr. Asif Iqbal commented: “PEPITEM can both prevent and reverse the impact that obesity has on metabolism. The next stage is to translate these exciting results into therapeutics that can be used in humans.”
As explained by Professor Ed Rainger: “PEPITEM is a naturally occurring peptide. We have already shown it has effects on several organs and now for the first time, we have shown that PEPITEM is effective in a model of a disease process that is not driven by the immune system alone.”
The University of Birmingham Enterprise had previously filed patent applications covering PEPITEM compositions and therapeutic uses and has now filed a new application covering its use in the prevention or treatment of obesity-related inflammatory conditions such as chronic low-grade systemic inflammation and pancreatic beta-cell damage.
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