Inflammatory marker presents a new target for obesity drug developers

A team of investigators at the University of Queensland in Australia says it has found an inflammatory protein called PAR2 that builds up in the fat tissue of obese humans and rodents. And using that as a biomarker for obesity linked to a diet high in sugar and fat offers a new target in the broadening campaign to come up with more effective therapies to knock off weight. "This important new finding links obesity and high-fat, high-sugar diets with changes in immune cells and inflammatory status, highlighting an emerging realization that obesity is an inflammatory disease," said David Fairlie, the study author from the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland. "Drugs designed to block certain inflammatory proteins, as in this report, may be able to prevent and treat obesity, which in turn is a major risk factor for Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, limb amputation and cancers." Release