#Science for Innovation

Diabetes-induced neuroinflammation

Inflammation is recognized as a key factor underlying some of the complications of Diabetes, which is a major health issue facing New Zealanders. This research linking the HSP60 protein to neuronal inflammation could provide novel strategies to mitigate its effects.

Dr Ryan Martinus and his research group have published a review article about the Role of Mitochondrial Stress Protein HSP60 in Diabetes-Induced Neuroinflammation.

The review paper is focused  on diabetes-induced changes in the central nervous system and the potential role of the HSP60 protein as an initiator of oxidative stress and potential modulator of neuronal inflammation. They suggest that oxidative stress mediated mitochondrial dysfunction stimulates the upregulation of mitochondrial heat shock protein 60 (HSP60) and ultimately initiates inflammatory pathways. HSP60 also could be a focal point in the development of a biomarker of neuronal inflammation as HSP60 is known to be significantly elevated in diabetic patients. Interestingly, secretion of HSP60 from neuronal cells suggests that inflammation could spread to other brain cells (such as astrocytes).

A mechanism for linking neuron and astrocyte inflammation will provide new therapeutic approaches to modulate neuronal inflammation and therefore potentially ameliorate the cognitive impairment in diabetic brains associated with vascular dementia.

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