Gum Disease Might Be A Precursor To Diabetes

Asian Scientist (April 3, 2024) – Type 2 diabetes (DM) is a complex metabolic disease characterized by hyperglycemia. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the prevalence of type 2 diabetes has increased dramatically over the past three decades in all countries regardless of income level. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 95% of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. It used to occur mainly in adults, but now, more and more children are being diagnosed with it. Approximately 19% of adults worldwide suffer from severe gum disease, with more than 1 billion cases worldwide.

People with diabetes often suffer from periodontitis, a severe gum infection that damages the gums and the bone that supports the teeth, leading to tooth loss. However, the complex nature of how these two conditions interact is not fully understood.

Now, a new study from Korean researchers explains for the first time how periodontitis and diabetes are linked both at the overall level of the immune system and at the cellular level.The study was conducted by researchers at Pusan ​​National University (PNU) in South Korea and published in Clinical and Translational Medicine.

Although periodontitis is a common disease in people with diabetes, its impact on health and its interaction with type 2 diabetes have not been fully explored. Previous studies have focused only on the immune system's response in the gums, missing the bigger picture of the impact the immune system can have on the entire body.

To understand the relationship between the two diseases, the scientists collected blood cells from a mixed group of 11 healthy people, 10 people with gum disease but without diabetes mellitus (PD), and 6 people with both gum disease and PD. disease and diabetes mellitus (PDDM).

They then analyzed these cells using cutting-edge single-cell RNA sequencing technology, which helps identify different cell types and their functions in a tissue or organism. The scientists then compared the differences between the groups, looking at specific types of immune cells in the blood, both from an intracellular and intercellular perspective. They found that certain cells in the PD and PDDM groups became more inflamed.

RESISTIN stands for “insulin resistance” and is an important inflammatory molecule linked to diabetes and other chronic inflammatory diseases. In people with diabetes, there are more cells containing resistin. This was true for both the gum disease (PD) and diabetes mellitus (PDDM) groups. The levels of RESISTIN in the blood of both PD and PDDM groups were higher than those of healthy individuals, indicating that it interacts with blood flow.

The study also found that the RESISTIN pathway is more active in both PD and PDDM populations, particularly in certain types of white blood cells (an important part of the immune system) called classical monocytes. This finding is significant because it shows a common pathway that influences the relationship between gum disease and diabetes. RESISTIN was found in the blood of people with gum disease who had no other medical conditions, suggesting its role in inflammation and its potential as a therapeutic target to reduce the risk of diabetes in these patients.

The results showed significant changes in the immune systems of patients who had both gum disease and diabetes, suggesting that gum disease may precede diabetes. Likewise, RESISTIN was detected in the blood of patients with gum disease but no other conditions, suggesting that it may be a therapeutic target to reduce the risk of diabetes in these patients.

“Our study has the potential to transform our understanding of the complex interactions between two common health conditions and reveal the systemic effects of these conditions, providing potential for targeted interventions,” said Yun Hak Kim, assistant professor in the Department of Anatomy. Pathways. He is also Chair Professor in the Department of Interdisciplinary Genomic Sciences.

Source: Pusan ​​National University; Photo: Shutterstock

The paper can be found at: Deciphering the immunological link between periodontitis and type 2 diabetes through single-cell RNA analysis

Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of Asia Scientists or its staff.

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