Inverse Associations Between Obesity Indicators And Thymic T-Cell Production Levels In Aging Atomic-Bomb Survivors (Vol 9, E91985, 2014)

K. Yoshida, E. Nakashima,Y. Kubo, M. Yamaoka,J. Kajimura

PLOS ONE(2014)

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Reduction of the naive T-cell population represents a deteriorating state in the immune system that occurs with advancing age. In animal model studies, obesity compromises the T-cell immune system as a result of enhanced adipogenesis in primary lymphoid organs and systemic inflammation. In this study, to test the hypothesis that obesity may contribute to the aging of human T-cell immunity, a thousand atomic-bomb survivors were examined for obesity status and ability to produce naive T cells, i.e., T-cell receptor excision circle (TREC) numbers in CD4 and CD8 T cells. The number of TRECs showed a strong positive correlation with naive T cell numbers, and lower TREC numbers were associated with higher age. We found that the TREC number was inversely associated with levels of obesity indicators (BMI, hemoglobin A1c) and serum CRP levels. Development of type-2 diabetes and fatty liver was also associated with lower TREC numbers. This population study suggests that obesity with enhanced inflammation is involved in aging of the human T-cell immune system. Given the fact that obesity increases the risk of numerous age-related diseases, attenuated immune competence is a possible mechanistic link between obesity and disease development among the elderly.
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