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Insulin suppresses swelling triggers.

Researchers who first identified the anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective properties of insulin have discovered one pathway through which the hormone produces the effect. Insulin appears to suppress a particular group of inflammatory mediators known as toll-like receptors, or TLRs, which are a variety of pattern recognition receptors that identify bacterial and viral products and other pathogens.

Insulin interferes with the expression of several types of TLRs, likely by suppressing a specific transcription factor known as PU.1--which regulates TLR expression. "We reported earlier that an infusion of low-dose insulin exerts a quick, powerful anti-inflammatory effect in diabetic patients," notes Paresh Dandona, senior researcher on the project and chief of Kaleida Health's Division on Endocrinology and director of Kaleida's Diabetes-Endocrine Center of Western New York, Buffalo, where he conducted his research.

"Knowing the toll-like receptors are major determinants of the body's inflammatory response to viral and bacterial pathogens, we set out to see if these receptors were susceptible to insulin's effect.

"Our data supports the concept that insulin is anti-inflammatory and that it may have potential use in treating various infective inflammatory conditions as well as acute coronary syndromes. This includes acute myocardial infarction and cardiac surgery, where inflammation plays an important role."

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Title Annotation:Endocrinology
Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2011
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