Obesity and type 2 diabetes are on the rise worldwide, often due to overeating and too little exercise. However, exercise plays a key role in health and not only strengthens the immune system, but also reduces the risk of these diseases. Researchers have now shown how exercise increases Tregs, which then support muscle function and promote recovery after activity.
The study also identified an important signaling pathway critical to Treg function, interleukin-6 (IL6) signaling via the IL6 receptor (IL6R) in T cells. This may explain why some treatments targeting IL6R lead to muscle weakness as a side effect.
Overall, a better understanding of the link between the immune system and metabolism could help develop more targeted therapies for diabetes and obesity and also benefit professional athletes.