In this early preclinical study, a naturally produced amino acid–like molecule called GABA was given orally to mice that were obese, insulin resistant and in the early stages of Type 2 diabetes. The researchers found that GABA suppressed the inflammatory immune responses involved in the development of Type 2 diabetes.
According to study authors, GABA helped prevent disease progression and improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, even after onset of Type 2 diabetes in mice. They also identified the regulatory immune cells that likely direct GABA’s activity in inhibiting inflammation.
The researchers note that in the future, GABA, taken as a supplement, or related medications may serve as new therapeutic agents for the treatment of obesity-related Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Dr. Jide Tian and Dr. Daniel Kaufman, both professors in the department of molecular and medical pharmacology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, are available for interviews.
No outside funding was used for the study.
The research appears in the Sept. 22 online edition of the peer-reviewed journal PLoS One. A copy of the full study is available.
Contact: Rachel Champeau