The osteopontin receptor CD44 emerges as a target for immunotherapy of obesity-induced type 2 diabetes

Osteopontin is an inflammatory molecule involved in the onset of obesity-induced insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes and thus evaluated as a target molecule for cardiometabolic immunotherapy in our a lab. A recent publication of a group located in Stanford, California [1], showed that four weeks of therapy with a monoclonal antibody against the osteopontin receptor CD44 suppressed visceral adipose tissue inflammation compared to control animals and reduced fasting blood glucose levels, weight gain, liver steatosis, and insulin resistance to levels comparable to or better than the drugs metformin and pioglitazone. These findings suggest that immunotherapeutic targeting of the osteopontin receptor CD44 may be useful for therapy of and type 2 diabetes by breaking the links between obesity and insulin resistance and thus strengthens the strategy of the CM-IT to target the osteopontin molecule itself.

1. Kodama, K., et al., Anti-CD44 Antibody Treatment Lowers Hyperglycemia and Improves Insulin Resistance, Adipose Inflammation, and Hepatic Steatosis in Diet-Induced Obese Mice. Diabetes, 2014 [Epub ahead of print].