Alterations in T-Cell Subset Frequency in Peripheral Blood in Obesity
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Background: Obesity affects the regulation of immune and inflammatory responses. This study characterizes differences in peripheral blood lymphocyte phenotype in obese humans. Methods: Frequencies of lymphocyte subsets among peripheral blood mononuclear cells were compared between 10 obese (BMI ≥35) and 10 lean subjects, as determined by antibodies directed against cluster differentiation (CD) markers. Results: Obese patients demonstrated an increased frequency of CD3+CD4+ T-cells (mean difference 12%, P=0.004), a decreased frequency of CD3+CD8+ T-cells (mean difference 9.4%, P=0.016) and an increased frequency of CD3+CD8+CD95+ T-cells (mean difference 13.3%, P=0.032). No other differences among T-cell or monocyte subsets were noted. Conclusions: Obesity is associated with alterations in frequencies of peripheral CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells and aberrations in the expression of CD95 among CD8+ T-cells. These data suggest both CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell compartments, as well as the regulation of CD95 expression on CD8+ T-cells, as targets for further study into obesity's effects on the immune system.
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