Background: The relation between low-grade inflammation and metabolic dysfunction in obesity is not fully explored. Objective: To evaluate immune parameters in the obese state and after a lifestyle intervention program. Methods: Patients with obesity (n = 87) from an academic obesity clinic were compared with controls with regard to macrophage and T-cell activation (reflected by serum levels of soluble CD163 (sCD163) and soluble IL-2 receptor (sIL-2R), respectively), and an array of cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors. In addition, these parameters and regulatory T-cells (Treg), were studied in 27 patients who followed a 75-week lifestyle intervention (dietary advice, exercise, and psychoeducation). Results: Mean sIL-2R and sCD163 levels were higher in patients than controls (sIL-2R:2884 ± 936 pg/ml vs. 2207 ± 813 pg/ml, p = 0.001; sCD163:1279 ± 580 pg/ml vs. 661 ± 271 pg/ml, p < 0.0001 respectively). Patients with metabolic syndrome (MetS) had higher sCD163 than those without (1467 ± 656 pg/ml vs. 1103 ± 438 pg/ml). Patients had higher IL-1β, IL-1RA, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-8, IL-9, IL-10, IL-15, IL-17A, MCP-1/CCL2, MIP-1α/CCL3, MIP-1β/CCL4, G-CSF, GM-CSF, FGF, IFN-γ, and TNF-α than controls, whereas VEGF-A, PDGF-BB, and eotaxin were lower. Upon intervention, sIL-2R decreased while peripheral Treg frequencies increased within the reference range (p = 0.042 and p = 0.005 respectively). The sIL-2R decrease correlated to a decrease in waist circumference (rho = 0.388, p = 0.045) and in trend to a decrease in MetS components (rho = 0.345, p = 0.078). The Treg increase was unrelated to weight loss or metabolic improvement. Mean sCD163 did not change significantly upon intervention, nor did the cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors (except IP-10/CXCL10). Conclusion: In obesity, T-cell homeostasis improves after a lifestyle intervention. Immunologic alterations can occur independently of metabolic improvement.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41366-020-0615-6, hdl.handle.net/1765/128967
Journal International Journal of Obesity
Citation
van der Zalm, I.J.B. (I. J.B.), van der Valk, E.S. (E. S.), Wester, V.L, Nagtzaam, N.M, van Rossum, E.F.C, Leenen, P.J.M, & Dik, W.A. (2020). Obesity-associated T-cell and macrophage activation improve partly after a lifestyle intervention. International Journal of Obesity. doi:10.1038/s41366-020-0615-6