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Mucosal-associated invariant T cells are associated with insulin resistance in childhood obesity, and disrupt insulin signalling via IL-17 – published online 19/03/2022

Bergin graphical abstract

Ronan Bergin, David Kinlen, Nidhi Kedia-Mehta, Eadaoin Hayes, Féaron C. Cassidy, Declan Cody, Donal O’Shea, Andrew E. Hogan

Insulin resistance is one of the first signs of metabolic dysregulation to manifest in childhood obesity, long before the development of overt metabolic disease. However, the primary drivers of insulin resistance in childhood obesity remain to be elucidated. In this issue, Bergin and Kinlen et al ( report that an innate T cell subset, the mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cell, is strongly associated with insulin resistance in children with obesity. Furthermore, the authors demonstrate that the production of IL-17 by MAIT cells in particular is associated with insulin resistance. The authors then provide evidence from cell-based models that IL-17 can directly disrupt insulin-mediated glucose uptake. The authors conclude that these findings highlight a novel cellular driver of insulin resistance, which may represent a future therapeutic target.

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