Disturbances in some gene expression in T regulatory cells separated from children with metabolic syndrome

Scand J Immunol. 2010 Feb;71(2):115-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3083.2009.02354.x.


The metabolic syndrome (MS) is defined as a cluster of risk factors, including abdominal obesity, dyslipidaemia, glucose intolerance and hypertension, which increase the risk for coronary heart disease. The immunological aspects of obesity and MS, including the role of T regulatory cells, have been intensively investigated. The aim of this study was to determine whether there is any disturbance in T regulatory cells number and/or function in children with MS. The percentages of T regulatory cells in the peripheral blood of children fulfilling the International Diabetes Federation criteria of the disease (n = 47) were assessed. Treg cells were also separated for further analysis of multiple genes important in their function with the use of real-time RT-PCR. We did not observe any difference in Treg percentages between study and control group but there was lower expression of some molecules including transforming growth factor-beta and interleukin-12 family members in Treg cells separated from children with MS compared to the healthy subjects. Our study is the first to report significant disturbances in some gene expression in T regulatory cells separated from children with MS. The results should be useful for further research in this field, including immunotherapeutic interventions.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Separation
  • Child
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood
  • Metabolic Syndrome / genetics*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / immunology*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*