Celebration of Scholarship and Creative Activity 2021
Obesity can lead to insulin resistance and develop into type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). C-peptide levels in the blood and proinflammatory pancreatic cytokines, interleukin (IL)-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, are good indicators of how the body is processing insulin and levels of inflammation that lead to the development of T2DM. C-peptide serves as a long-term measurement of insulin production. Thirteen-lined ground squirrels were used as a model for obesity as they fatten and develop insulin resistance as they approach their hibernation period. Treatment of the squirrels with anti-inflammatory drugs, a steroid and a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), was attempted to decrease the inflammation in the pancreas and curb insulin and c-peptide production. Neither the NSAID nor steroid had a significant effect on c-peptide levels after treatment. The NSAID led to a decrease in TNF-α levels after 10 weeks of treatment, an effect that was common in male and female squirrels whereas the steroid treatment did not affect TNF-α levels. IL-6 levels decreased after 10 weeks of NSAID treatment and the steroid treatment decreased IL-6 levels in males but not females. Although insulin production is not affected, NSAID treatment is more effective than steroids at reducing pancreatic inflammation during fattening.