Dysregulation of circulating CD4+CXCR5+ T cells in type 2 diabetes mellitus
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is characterized by a chronic low‐grade inflammatory state. Follicular helper T cells (Tfh) play critical roles in inducing B‐cell activation and producing various cytokines, whereas circulating CD4+CXCR5+ T cells (CTfh) may act as a counterpart to measure Tfh cell disorders. In this study, we investigated whether Tfh could be involved in the development of T2DM by assessing CTfh in peripheral blood. CTfh and it subtypes were determined by measuring CD3, CD4, CXCR5, CXCR3, and CCR6 in 68 T2DM patients and 60 healthy controls using flow cytometry. Results showed that proportion of CTfh in the peripheral CD4+ T cells was significantly increased in T2DM patients (8.5 ± 0.5%) than in controls (4.5 ± 0.3%) (p < 0.001). Further study revealed that the balance of CTfh subtypes was greatly dysregulated, in which percentage of Th17 subtype was significantly increased in patients. Investigating the correlation between CTfh and risk factors of T2DM demonstrated that proportion of CTfh were significantly elevated in patients with body mass index (BMI) over 24.0 (p = 0.005). Interestingly, patients with abdominal obesity had further increase in CTfh than those without abdominal obesity. This study suggests the involvement of CTfh in T2DM, especially in T2DM‐related obesity.
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