T Reg-Specific Insulin Receptor Deletion Prevents Diet-Induced and Age-Associated Metabolic Syndrome
This week we profile a recent publication in the Journal of Experimental Medicine
from the laboratory of Dr. Megan Levings (pictured, second from right) at UBC.
Can you provide a brief overview of your lab’s current research focus?
The Levings’ lab works on understanding the biology of regulatory T cells so that they can be developed as a therapy for conditions such as transplant rejection, autoimmunity, and other inflammatory diseases.
What is the significance of the findings in this publication?
We found that the ability of regulatory T cells to regulate inflammation in fat is controlled by the insulin receptor. The concept that a hormone such as insulin could control immune regulation is an entirely new concept.
What are the next steps for this research?
We are developing ways to genetically engineer regulatory T cells so we can selectively enhance or reduce pathways such as insulin signalling and thus tailor the activity of these cells.
This work was funded by:
This work was funded several years ago by the Canadian Diabetes Association and we kept working on the project with funding from the CIHR.