Current Diabetes Reports

, 17:81 | Cite as

T Cell Populations and Functions Are Altered in Human Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes

  • Sothea Touch
  • Karine Clément
  • Sébastien André
Immunology, Transplantation, and Regenerative Medicine (L Piemonti and V Sordi, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Immunology, Transplantation, and Regenerative Medicine


Purpose of the Review

Obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D) are considered chronic inflammatory diseases. While early publications have reported the implication of innate immune cells such as macrophages to promote systemic inflammation and metabolic dysfunctions, recent publications underline the alterations of the T cell compartment in human obesity and type 2 diabetes. These recent findings are the focus of this review.

Recent Findings

In humans, obesity and T2D induce the expansion of proinflammatory T cells such as CD4 Th1, Th17, and CD8 populations, whereas innate T cells such as MAIT and iNKT cells are decreased. These alterations reflect a loss of total T cell homeostasis that may contribute to tissue and systemic inflammation.


Whether these changes are adaptive to nutritional variations and/or contribute to the progression of metabolic diseases remains to be clarified. T cell phenotyping may improve obese and/or T2D patient stratification with therapeutic and prognostic implications.


Obesity Type 2 diabetes Inflammation T cell Th17 MAIT 



The laboratory is supported by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Program for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement HEALTH-F4-2012-305312 (METACARDIS), the French National Agency of Research (ANR-2014 OBE-MAIT and ADIPOFIB), and French Foundation for Medical Research. Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris (APHP) is the promoter of the clinical investigations performed at the Human Research Nutrition Center by the authors mentioned in this review. The authors would like to thank Timothy Swartz (Institute of Cardiometabolism and Nutrition, Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Paris) for manuscript language editing.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Sothea Touch, Karine Clément, and Sébastien André declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article describes results from studies with human subjects performed by the three authors. All reported studies have been previously published. An informed consent was obtained for all subjects. The Ethics Committee (Comité de protection des personnes, CPP Ile-de-France) approved the studies, which were conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration and are registered in clinical trials. This article does not contain any studies with animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sothea Touch
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Karine Clément
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Sébastien André
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.INSERM, UMR_S 1166, Team 6 NutriomicsParisFrance
  2. 2.Sorbonne Universités, UPMC University Paris 06, UMR_S 1166ParisFrance
  3. 3.ICAN, Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de ParisInstitute of Cardiometabolism and NutritionParisFrance
  4. 4.Nutrition, Endocrinology and Cardiology DepartmentsAssistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris, Pitié-Salpêtrière HospitalParisFrance

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