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The nuts and bolts of type 2 remission in fat cells

Project summary

Losing weight and going into remission can be a huge challenge for people living with type 2 diabetes, and isn’t possible for everyone. Dr William Scott wants to figure out exactly what goes on in fat tissue during weight loss, and how and why this can help people go into remission. A deeper understanding of this could help scientists to develop first-of-a-kind treatments for type 2 diabetes that aim to directly trigger remission.

Background to research

Losing weight is the most effective way for people living with type 2 diabetes to go into remission. But for many it’s really challenging, and keeping the weight off long term and staying in remission is even harder.  

In addition, little is currently known about how and why weight loss is important for remission. Fat tissue has an important role in controlling how insulin works to keep blood sugar levels steady. Weight loss can help to calm down fat cells that have been inflamed by higher blood sugar levels, meaning insulin can work more effectively. It can also help to stop fat from building up around the pancreas, so it can produce more insulin. Now Dr William Scott wants to understand exactly what goes on in fat tissue during weight loss. 

Research aims

Dr Scott and his team will use a new technique, called single cell sequencing, to study fat tissues in incredible detail. Single cell sequencing will allow them to collect detailed information about every single cell in a sample in just one test. 

They’ll study fat tissues before and after weight loss, from people with type 2 diabetes before and after going into remission. This should help them to pinpoint precisely which cells in fat tissue are responsible for the positive effects that weight loss can have on type 2 diabetes. 

It should also help them to identify which genes and proteins in these cells play a role in bringing about remission. 

Potential benefit to people with diabetes

Remission can be life-changing, but current approaches aren’t suitable or don’t work for everyone with type 2 diabetes. 

Figuring out the cellular nuts and bolts of remission could help researchers to develop new, better treatments for type 2 diabetes designed to trigger remission and give more people the best chance of living free from the condition. 

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