Pediatr Gastroenterol Hepatol Nutr.  2021 Jul;24(4):377-383. 10.5223/pghn.2021.24.4.377.

Effector Memory CD8 + and CD4 + T Cell Immunity Associated with Metabolic Syndrome in Obese Children

  • 1Graduate School, Jeju National University, Jeju, Korea
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, Jeju National University Hospital, Jeju, Korea
  • 3Center for Integrative Rheumatoid Transcriptomics and Dynamics, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea
  • 4Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA
  • 5Department of Pediatrics, Jeju National University College of Medicine, Jeju, Korea
  • 6Institute of Medical Science, Jeju National University College of Medicine, Jeju, Korea


We investigated the association of effector memory (EM) CD8 + T cell and CD4 + T cell immunity with metabolic syndrome (MS).
Surface and intracellular staining of peripheral blood mononuclear cells was performed. Anti-interleukin-7 receptor-alpha (IL-7Rα) and CX3CR1 antibodies were used to stain the subsets of EM CD8 + T cells, while anti-interferon-gamma (IFN-γ), interleukin-17 (IL-17), and forkhead box P3 (FOXP3) antibodies were used for CD4 + T cell subsets.
Of the 47 obese children, 11 were female. Children with MS had significantly higher levels of serum insulin (34.8±13.8 vs. 16.4±6.3 μU/mL, p<0.001) and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (8.9±4.1 vs. 3.9±1.5, p<0.001) than children without MS. Children with MS revealed significantly higher frequencies of IL-7Rα low CD8+ T cells (60.1 ±19.1% vs. 48.4±11.5%, p=0.047) and IL-7Rα low CX3CR1 + CD8 + T cells (53.8±20.1% vs. 41.5 ±11.9%, p=0.036) than children without MS. As the serum triglyceride levels increased, the frequency of IL-7Rα low CX3CR1 + and IL-7Rα high CX3CR1 – CD8 + T cells increased and decreased, respectively (r=0.335, p=0.014 and r=−0.350, p=0.010, respectively), in 47 children. However, no CD4 + T cell subset parameters were significantly different between children with and without MS.
In obese children with MS, the changes in immunity due to changes in EM CD8 + T cells might be related to the morbidity of obesity.


Child; Obesity; Metabolic syndrome; Hypertriglyceridemia; CD4; CD8; T-Lymphocytes
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