‘Sensing’ the link between type 1 and type 2 diabetes
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Obesity-associated insulin resistance is a core element of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Notably, insulin resistance is also a feature of type 1 diabetes (T1D), where findings in the non-obese diabetic mouse model have implicated transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 (TRPV1+) sensory neurons in local islet inflammation and glucose metabolism. Here, we briefly review the role of TRPV1 in non-obese diabetic (NOD) T1D pathogenesis, highlighting commonalities that suggest TRPV1 may contribute to obesity and T2D as well. With the recently discovered importance of adipose infiltrating lymphocytes in the metabolic disturbances of obesity and T2D, sensory innervation of fat may thus play an analogous role to sensory neurons in the islet--modulating neuroendocrine homeostasis and inflammation. In such a scenario, TRPV1+ sensory nerves would provide the pathoaetiological link connecting the shared metabolic and immunologic features of type 1 diabetes and T2D.
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