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Pediatr Diabetes. 2015 Mar;16(2):109-16. doi: 10.1111/pedi.12129. Epub 2014 Mar 17.

Obesity is associated with acute inflammation in a sample of adolescents.

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  • 1Public Health Unit, Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology (INTA), University of Chile, Santiago, Chile.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Obesity is associated with a mild chronic inflammatory response, which has been suggested to be pivotal in the development of cardiometabolic alterations of obesity. However, little is known about the involvement of acute inflammation.

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate whether circulating neutrophils, markers of acute inflammation, are associated (quantitatively and qualitatively) with adolescent obesity and whether leptin modulates these associations.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS:

We assessed 528 adolescents (16.8 yr old, 47% females), without chronic/acute illness. We measured anthropometry and dual energy X-ray absorptiometry and calculated fat mass percentage (FM%). Fasting serum glucose, high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol, and triglycerides were used with blood pressure and waist circumference to compute a metabolic z-score. Leukocyte and neutrophil counts were obtained, together with levels of serum leptin. In a subsample of 23 males, flow cytometry was used to assess degranulation (CD66b expression) of neutrophils.

RESULTS:

Female sex and obesity were positively related to mean neutrophil counts (p < 0.05). When accounting for sex and weight status, leptin was associated with neutrophil counts (p < 0.05), partially explaining the association between obesity and neutrophil counts. Neutrophil counts were related to metabolic risk z-scores, controlling for fat mass. Participants with elevated FM% showed more neutrophil degranulation than controls (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

Participants with increased adiposity had higher circulating neutrophil counts, suggesting acute inflammation. Furthermore, the neutrophils showed more degranulation, indicating inflammation. Obesity-induced alteration of the adipose secretory pattern (i.e., changes in leptin levels) could be involved in acute inflammation.

© 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

KEYWORDS:

acute inflammation; adolescents; leukocytes; neutrophils; obesity

PMID:
24636574
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC4167167
[Available on 2016-03-01]
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