Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
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.

Author information

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



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.


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


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.


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).


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.


acute inflammation; adolescents; leukocytes; neutrophils; obesity

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
[Available on 2016-03-01]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk