Chinese scientists propose potential diabetes complication strategy

(Xinhua) 10:26, September 11, 2022

BEIJING, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- Chinese scientists identified a new mechanism which indicates how fat changes one's brain, thus offering a potential strategy to treat cognitive disorders caused by diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes with obesity-related insulin resistance is known to be associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment, and fat tissue plays a possible role in this process.

The researchers from Nanjing University demonstrated for the first time that extracellular vesicles (EVs), the lipid-bound vesicles secreted by cells, and their cargo non-coding RNA molecules, served to mediate communication between fat tissues and the brain.

These compounds can be transferred to the brain and enriched in neurons, especially in the hippocampus, according to the study published recently in the journal Cell Metabolism.

Further experiments showed that fat tissue-derived EVs from mice fed a high-fat diet or patients with diabetes can induce remarkable cognitive impairment in healthy mice.

The scientists engineered an animal model without the cargo molecules in the EVs, and the detrimental effects on cognitive function were significantly alleviated, according to the study.

The study suggested that targeting those EVs or their cargo RNA molecules may provide a promising strategy for pharmaceutical interventions for cognitive impairment in diabetes. 

(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)


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