Peripheral Monocytes of Obese Women Display Increased Chemokine Receptor Expression and Migration Capacity

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The activation of peripheral immune cells and the infiltration of immune cells into adipose tissue in obesity are implicated in the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus.


The aim of the study was to compare peripheral immune cells from obese and normal-weight women with regard to composition of immune cell subpopulations, surface expression of the chemokine receptors (CCRs) CCR2, CCR3, CCR5, and CXCR3 (chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 3) and cell-intrinsic migration capacity.


This was a case-control study.


The study was conducted at a university clinical study center.


Obese females and normal-weight females were included for fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis and migration assays.

Main Outcome Measures:

Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were prepared from fasting blood samples and used for fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis and migration assays.


An increase in the percentages of CD14+CD16+ monocytes was observed in obese subjects compared with controls. The CCR profile of monocytes differed significantly in the obese state; in particular, CCR2 levels were increased. In addition, a higher chemotactic activity of monocytes from obese subjects was observed in a migration assay, which was associated with both insulin resistance and CCR2 expression.


Our results suggest that the enhanced intrinsic migratory capacity of peripheral monocytes in obese women may be due to the increased CCR expression, further supporting a link between peripheral immune cell dysfunction and obesity.

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