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Increased CD4+ T Cells in Peripheral Blood of Obese

Last Updated: January 13, 2012.


Increased homeostatic T-cell proliferation; elevated levels of CCL5, IL-7 seen in morbidly obese

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Morbidly obese individuals have a selective increase in CD4+ T cells in the peripheral blood T-cell compartment, according to a study published online Jan. 6 in Diabetes.

FRIDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Morbidly obese individuals have a selective increase in CD4+ T cells in the peripheral blood T-cell compartment, according to a study published online Jan. 6 in Diabetes.

Kim van der Weerd, from the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues compared the absolute counts and relative frequencies of all major T-cell subpopulations in the peripheral blood of 13 morbidly obese and 25 lean healthy adults. Plasma levels of proinflammatory cytokines, cytokines linked with T-helper (Th) subpopulations, and T-cell proliferation were measured.

The researchers found that, in morbidly obese adults, there were increased levels of peripheral CD4+ naive, memory, natural CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ T regulatory (Treg) cells, and Th2 T cells. Levels of CD8+ T cells were normal. Increased proliferation of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells was observed, but there was no significant difference in the T-cell receptor-β repertoire. There were elevated levels of cytokines chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 5 (CCL5) and interleukin-7 (IL-7). There was an association seen between CD4+ T-cell numbers and fasting insulin levels.

"The peripheral blood T-cell compartment of morbid obese subjects is characterized by increased homeostatic T-cell proliferation to which cytokines IL-7 and CCL5, among others, might contribute. This is associated with increased CD4+ T cells, with skewing toward a Treg- and Th2-dominated phenotype, suggesting a more anti-inflammatory set point," the authors write.

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