Abdominal Obesity-Related Disturbance of Insulin Sensitivity Is Associated with CD8+ EMRA Cells in the Elderly

authored by
Tim K. Boßlau, Paulina Wasserfurth, Britta Krüger, Thomas Reichel, Jana Palmowski, Josefine Nebl, Christopher Weyh, Alexander Schenk, Niklas Joisten, Frank Stahl, Stefanie Thoms, Kristina Gebhardt, Andreas Hahn, Karsten Krüger

Aging and overweight increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus. In this cross-sectional study, we aimed to investigate the potential mediating role of T-EMRA cells and inflammatory markers in the development of a decreased insulin sensitivity. A total of 134 healthy older volunteers were recruited (age 59.2 (SD 5.6) years). T cell subpopulations were analyzed by flow cytometry. Furthermore, body composition, HOMA-IR, plasma tryptophan (Trp) metabolites, as well as cytokines and adipokines were determined. Using subgroup and covariance analyses, the influence of BMI on the parameters was evaluated. Moreover, correlation, multiple regression, and mediation analyses were performed. In the subgroup of participants with obesity, an increased proportion of CD8+EMRA cells and elevated concentrations of plasma kynurenine (KYN) were found compared to the lower-weight subgroups. Linear regression analysis revealed that an elevated HOMA-IR could be predicted by a higher proportion of CD8+EMRA cells and KYN levels. A mediation analysis showed a robust indirect effect of the Waist-to-hip ratio on HOMA-IR mediated by CD8+EMRA cells. Thus, the deleterious effects of abdominal obesity on glucose metabolism might be mediated by CD8+EMRA cells in the elderly. Longitudinal studies should validate this assumption and analyze the suitability of CD8+EMRA cells as early predictors of incipient prediabetes.

Institute of Food Science and Human Nutrition
Institute of Technical Chemistry
Nutrition Physiology and Human Nutrition Section
External Organisation(s)
Justus Liebig University Giessen
TU Dortmund University
Publication date
Publication status
Peer reviewed
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Sustainable Development Goals
SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
Electronic version(s)
https://doi.org/10.3390/cells10050998 (Access: Open)