B Cell Activation in Insulin Resistance and Obesity
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Our group has demonstrated that inflammatory diseases such as type 2 diabetes (DM), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and periodontal disease (PD) are associated with altered B cell function that may contribute to disease pathogenesis. B cells were found to be highly activated with characteristics of inflammatory cells. Obesity is a pre-disease state for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes and is considered a state of chronic inflammation. Therefore, we sought to better characterize B cell function and phenotype in obese patients. We demonstrate that (Toll-like receptor) TLR4 and CD36 expression by B cells is elevated in obese subjects, suggesting increased sensing of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and other TLR ligands. These ligands may be of microbial, from translocation from a leaky gut, or host origin. To better assess microbial ligand burden and host response in the bloodstream, we measured LPS binding protein (LBP), bacterial/permeability increasing protein (BPI), and high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1). Thus far, our data demonstrate an increase in LBP in DM and obesity indicating increased responses to TLR ligands in the blood. Interestingly, B cells responded to certain types of LPS by phosphorylating extracellular-signal-regulated kinases (ERK) 1/2. A better understanding of the immunological state of obesity and the microbial and endogenous TLR ligands that may be activating B cells will help identify novel therapeutics to reduce the risk of more dangerous conditions, such as cardiovascular disease.
- Science Day 2011