Influence of BMI on level of circulating progenitor cells

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 Aug;19(8):1722-6. doi: 10.1038/oby.2010.347. Epub 2011 Feb 3.


Obesity complicates a number of diseases through mechanisms that are poorly defined. Mobilization and recruitment of progenitor cells to pathological sites is an important factor in disease progression. Here, we analyzed the influence of obesity on the systemic circulation of CD34(+) cell populations and correlated frequencies of cells displaying previously established cell marker signatures with the BMI. Comparative analysis of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from 12 nonobese (BMI <30 kg/m(2)) and 14 obese (BMI >30 kg/m(2)) disease-free donors by flow cytometry revealed that obesity is associated with a fivefold increased frequency of circulating progenitor cells (CPC), a population consisting of hematopoietic and endothelial precursors. Our data also indicate that obesity is associated with increased frequency of circulating mesenchymal stromal progenitor cells (MSC). In contrast, the frequencies of mature endothelial cells (EC) and CD34-bright leukocytes are unaffected by obesity. Combined, our results indicate that obesity promotes mobilization of progenitor cells, which may have clinical relevance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antigens, CD34 / blood*
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / blood*
  • Stem Cells / metabolism*


  • Antigens, CD34