Type 2 diabetes as an inflammatory disease.

Donath, Marc Y; Shoelson, Steven E
Nature reviews. Immunology; 2011 Feb;11(2):98-107. PMID: 21233852
Clinic of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, University Hospital Basel, CH-4031 Basel, Switzerland.


Components of the immune system are altered in obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D), with the most apparent changes occurring in adipose tissue, the liver, pancreatic islets, the vasculature and circulating leukocytes. These immunological changes include altered levels of specific cytokines and chemokines, changes in the number and activation state of various leukocyte populations and increased apoptosis and tissue fibrosis. Together, these changes suggest that inflammation participates in the pathogenesis of T2D. Preliminary results from clinical trials with salicylates and interleukin-1 antagonists support this notion and have opened the door for immunomodulatory strategies for the treatment of T2D that simultaneously lower blood glucose levels and potentially reduce the severity and prevalence of the associated complications of this disease.