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Diabetes drugs act as powerful curb for immune cells in controlling inflammation

Gorkha Post

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WASHINGTON — A common class of drugs used to treat diabetes has been found to exert a powerful check on macrophages by controlling the metabolic fuel they use to generate energy, according to a news study.

When tissues are damaged, one of the body’s first inflammatory immune-system responders are macrophages, cells which are commonly thought of as ‘construction workers’ that clear away damaged tissue debris and initiate repair.

The findings are detailed in a study published online this month in Genes and Development led by Mitchell Lazar, MD, PhD, director of the Institute for Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Keeping macrophages from going overboard on the job may inhibit the onset of obesity and diabetes following tissue inflammation.

“When this happens, macrophages infiltrate the affected tissues, sequester free fatty acids, and help repair damaged tissue, essentially acting as a protector of the body during times of metabolic stress,” said Lazar.

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However, extended stress on these tissues activates inflammatory characteristics in macrophages that contribute to several systemic effects of obesity including diabetes, atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular disease.

Diabetes drugs called thiazolidinediones (TZDs) control gene expression by targeting a factor called PPAR gamma.
Lazar’s team found that the TZDs, working through PPAR gamma, promote the metabolism of an amino acid called glutamine, a protein building block necessary for macrophage activation.

The team found that macrophages lacking PPAR gamma are unable to use glutamine as an energy source and therefore are more susceptible to inflammatory stimulation.

“These findings are highly relevant to treatment strategies that use TZDs for diabetes and enhance the justification for using TZDs to treat systemic inflammation that accompanies many types of disease, including obesity and diabetes,” said Lazar.

With Agency Inputs

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Sudden cardiac arrests are more likely to happen on any day at any time : Study

Raghu Kshitiz

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A new study has showed that sudden cardiac arrests are more likely to happen on any day at any time, challenging previous claims that weekday mornings — especially Mondays — were the danger zones.

Previously heart experts have long believed that weekday mornings were the danger zones for unexpected deaths from sudden cardiac arrests.

“While there are likely several reasons to explain why more cardiac arrests happen outside of previously identified peak times, stress is likely a major factor,” said Sumeet Chugh, a Professor of medicine from the Smidt Heart Institute in the US.

“We now live in a fast-paced, ‘always on’ era that causes increased psycho-social stress and possibly an increase in the likelihood of sudden cardiac arrest,” Chugh added.

Almost 17 million cardiac deaths occur annually worldwide while the survival rate from sudden cardiac arrest is less than one per cent.

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For the study, published in the journal Heart Rhythm, Chugh’s team analysed data on 1,535 from the community-based Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study between 2004 to 2014, among which only 13.9 per cent died in the early morning hours, the findings revealed.

All reported cases were based on emergency medical service reports containing detailed information regarding the cause of the cardiac arrest.

“Because sudden cardiac arrest is usually fatal, we have to prevent it before it strikes,” Chugh said. “Our next steps are to conclusively determine the underlying reasons behind this shift, then identify public health implications as a result,” he added.

Apart from stress, other contributing factors may be a shift in how high-risk patients are being treated, as well as inadequacies in how past studies have measured time of death caused by sudden cardiac arrest.

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