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.,
International Journal of Obesity

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