Study offers potential diagnostic and therapeutic tools for fatty liver disease-induced diabetes

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and type 2 diabetes are rising rapidly in India

The researchers analyzed blood samples from fat-fed mice and human NAFLD patients. Representative photo: India Science Wire

A new study by a team of researchers from several Indian institutions has revealed the biochemical relationship between fatty liver disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). This understanding should help develop new tools to diagnose and treat diabetes induced by fatty liver disease.

The study is gaining significance as the prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and type 2 diabetes is rapidly increasing in India. Recent surveys show that 40% of Indian adults suffer from NAFLD and nearly 50 million Indian adults suffer from both NAFLD and type 2 diabetes.

The study team consisted of researchers from Indian Institute of Technology Mandi, CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata, and Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education & Research (SSKM Hospital), Kolkata. They published a report on their findings in the scientific journal Diabetes.

Explaining the importance of their work, the researchers noted that NAFLD affecting the function of pancreatic insulin-releasing β cells was a known fact. But the mechanism has not been fully understood. The new study has filled the void.

The researchers analyzed blood samples from fat-fed mice and human NAFLD patients. Both sets of serum samples contained large amounts of a calcium-binding protein called S100A6, and other studies have shown that it inhibits insulin secretion. Other studies have shown that protein depletion improves insulin secretion and blood sugar regulation in mice.

The researchers said the study was critical in many ways. From a diagnostic point of view, it shows that high levels of S100A6 protein in the blood can serve as a biomarker to identify the risks of T2DM in NAFLD patients. At the therapeutic level, it has been shown that its removal from the blood can help restore insulin secretion.

The team consisted of Dr. Prosenjit Mondal, Associate Professor, School of Biosciences and Bioengineering, IIT Mandi, with its researchers Surbhi Dogra, Priya Rawat, Dr. P Vineeth Daniel, Dr. Partha Chakrabarti from CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata and his colleagues Dr DebajyotiDas, Sujay K Maity and Avishek Paul and Dr Kausik Das and Dr Souveek Mitra from IPGMER and SSKM Hospital, Kolkata. (India ScienceWire)

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