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New role for immune cells in preventing diabetes and hypertension

Immune cells which are reduced in number by obesity could be a new target to treat diseases such as type 2 diabetes and hypertension that affect overweight people, according to a collaborative study between The University of Manchester, Lund University and the University of Salford.

In a study published in the journal Scientific Reports, the researchers from immunology and cardiovascular backgrounds investigated a type of immune cell called eosinophils. Eosinophils are present in a layer of fat tissue called the perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT), which surrounds blood vessels and helps to maintain normal blood vessel function by reducing artery contraction.

The current research by the researchers found that eosinophils were considerably reduced in the PVAT in obesity in mice, and that the PVAT function was severely impaired, contributing to type 2 diabetes and hypertension. This is not something that has previously been observed.

Dr Sheena Cruickshank, the lead researcher on the Wellcome Trust-funded study, said: “This type of immune cell is present in many parts of the…

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