Diabetes: scientists discover new possible treatments to limit collateral damage of insulin

A group of researchers at the University of Geneva has identified proteins that can function as regulators of blood glucose and lipids under certain conditions. This protein, called S100A9, may counteract the side effects of insulin given to diabetics.

This study, published at Nature Communications, has the potential to be a new treatment for diabetes and generally states that it can significantly improve the quality of daily life of tens of millions of people.

In fact, millions of people must use insulin injections for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Overdose can cause hypoglycemia and lower blood sugar, but overdose is also dangerous for high blood sugar.

Scientists have found in mice that improved glucose management and better control of ketones and lipids can be achieved by administering S100A9 to diabetic insulin-deficient rats. They then discovered that this protein seems to work only when there is TLR4, a receptor located in the membranes of certain cells, including adipocytes and cells of the immune system.

Currently, Roberto Coppari, one of the authors of the study with Giorgio Ramadori, is working with his team to understand the function of the S100A9 protein. In this regard, they have devised a new treatment that combines S100A9 with a low dose of insulin and understands whether it can better control glucose and ketones and limit the same negative side effects of insulin.

“We also want to decipher the exact role of TLR4 to provide a therapeutic strategy that achieves the delicate balance of optimal blood sugar, ketone and lipid control,” Coppari explains in a press release.

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