New Study Uncovers Surprising Benefits of the Protein Kallistatin

Researchers have discovered that after weight loss, individuals with overweight and obesity show increased levels of Kallistatin in their subcutaneous white adipose tissue, a protein linked to improved metabolism and potential therapeutic benefits for obesity and type 2 diabetes. This finding, explored through both clinical and animal studies, highlights Kallistatin’s role in enhancing hepatic insulin sensitivity, suggesting it as a promising target for future treatments.New research indicates that weight loss in overweight individuals boosts Kallistatin expression in fat tissue, enhancing metabolism and presenting a new target for treating obesity and type 2 diabetes.After losing weight, individuals who were overweight or obese exhibited increased levels of the protein Kallistatin in their subcutaneous white adipose tissue, according to a recent study by researchers at the DZD. Moreover, Kallistatin has been shown to enhance metabolism, potentially paving the way for new treatments for obesity and type 2 diabetes. The findings were recently published in the journal Molecular Metabolism.An increasing number of people are developing type 2 diabetes and obesity. These are highly complex and multifaceted diseases. In order to treat them sustainably, new approaches to therapy are needed. Clinical studies on humans have shown that heavily overweight individuals produce less Kallistatin. Kallistatin is a protein that has various effects in the body.Among other things, it is involved in counteracting inflammation and healing wounds. The role that Kallistatin plays in glucose metabolism and its potential suitability as a therapeutic target are currently being investigated by researchers from the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), the Institute for Diabetes Research and Metabolic Diseases (IDM) of Helmholtz Munich at the Eberhard-Karls-University of Tübingen, and the Department of Diabetology, Endocrinology and Nephrology at the University Hospital Tübingen.Kallistatin Expression Increases After Weight LossTo this end, they measured Kallistatin expression in subcutaneous white adipose tissue in 47 individuals with overweight to obesity before and after weight loss. The result: Kallistatin expression increases after weight loss.Expression of the protein Kallistatin increases after weight reduction. In mice, it improves hepatic insulin sensitivity. Credit: IDM, [email protected].Kallistatin Improves Hepatic Insulin SensitivityAdditionally, the researchers examined the effect of the protein in an animal model. In the process, they observed that human Kallistatin improves hepatic insulin sensitivity in diet-induced obese mice.“Our results suggest that Kallistatin may be an interesting, yet challenging, therapeutic target for people with obesity and insulin resistance,” says lead author Leontine Sandforth. “Because Kallistatin has insulin-sensitizing effects in the liver, it should be investigated as a potential liver-specific target for emulating the beneficial effects of weight loss and potentially treating type 2 diabetes and obesity,” adds last author Prof. Andreas Birkenfeld.Reference: “Role of human Kallistatin in glucose and energy homeostasis in mice” by Leontine Sandforth, Sebastian Brachs, Julia Reinke, Diana Willmes, Gencer Sancar, Judith Seigner, David Juarez-Lopez, Arvid Sandforth, Jeffrey D. McBride, Jian-Xing Ma, Sven Haufe, Jens Jordan and Andreas L. Birkenfeld, 29 February 2024, Molecular Metabolism.DOI: 10.1016/j.molmet.2024.101905

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