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Open AccessArticle

Lack of Differences in Inflammation and T Cell-Mediated Function between Young and Older Women with Obesity

Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA
Weight and Wellness Center, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA 02111, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(1), 237;
Received: 26 November 2019 / Revised: 13 January 2020 / Accepted: 13 January 2020 / Published: 16 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Immunonutrient in Human Health and Disease)
Both obesity and aging are associated with dysregulated immune and inflammatory responses. There is limited knowledge, however, on differences in the immune system between young and older adults with obesity. The goal of this study was to compare circulating inflammatory cytokines and T cell-mediated immune response between young and older women with obesity. Twenty-three young (23–43 years) and 21 older (60–83 years) women with obesity were recruited at the Weight and Wellness Center at Tufts Medical Center. Circulating inflammatory cytokines (CRP, IL-6, and IL-1β) and ex vivo indicators of T cell-mediated immune function were compared between the groups. Older women with obesity had significantly fewer circulating CD3+, CD8+, CD19+, and natural killer T (NKT) cells compared to young women with obesity (p = 0.016, p < 0.0001, p = 0.0003, and p < 0.0001, respectively). However, with few exceptions, there was no significant difference in inflammation markers or stimulated lymphocyte proliferation and cytokine production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells between young and older participants. These findings are in contrast to those previously reported in young and old subjects with healthy weight and call for further investigation into the impact of obesity on premature aging of the immune system. View Full-Text
Keywords: obesity; aging; T cell-mediated function; inflammation obesity; aging; T cell-mediated function; inflammation
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Dao, M.C.; Saltzman, E.; Page, M.; Reece, J.; Mojtahed, T.; Wu, D.; Meydani, S.N. Lack of Differences in Inflammation and T Cell-Mediated Function between Young and Older Women with Obesity. Nutrients 2020, 12, 237.

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