Alterations in T-cell subset frequency in peripheral blood in obesity

Robert W. O'Rourke, Thomas Kay, Mark H. Scholz, Brian Diggs, Blair A. Jobe, David M. Lewinsohn, Antony C. Bakke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

68 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1463-1468
Number of pages6
JournalObesity Surgery
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 1 2005


  • Flow cytometry
  • Immunity
  • Lymphocyte
  • Morbid obesity
  • T-cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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    O'Rourke, R. W., Kay, T., Scholz, M. H., Diggs, B., Jobe, B. A., Lewinsohn, D. M., & Bakke, A. C. (2005). Alterations in T-cell subset frequency in peripheral blood in obesity. Obesity Surgery, 15(10), 1463-1468.