A High Frequency of Peripheral Blood IL-22(+) CD4(+) T Cells in Patients With New Onset Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

J Clin Lab Anal. 2016 Mar;30(2):95-102. doi: 10.1002/jcla.21821. Epub 2014 Nov 25.


Background: This study is aimed at investigating the frequency of different functional IL-22(+) CD4(+) T cells in Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).

Methods: The frequency of circulating IFN-γ+IL-17-IL-22-CD4(+) (Th1), IFN-γ-IL-17A+IL-22-CD4(+) (Th17), and IFN-γ-IL-17A-IL-22(+) CD4(+) (Th22), and other subsets of IL-22(+) CD4(+) T cells in 31 patients with new onset T2DM and 16 healthy controls was characterized by flow cytometry. The levels of serum IL-22, IL-17, IFN-γ, insulin C-peptide, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), fasting plasma glucose, and insulin were examined.

Results: The frequency of Th1, Th17, Th22, IFN-γ(+) IL-17(-) IL-22(+) , and IFN-γ(-) IL-17(+) IL-22(+) CD4(+) T cells and the concentrations of IL-22, but not IL-17 and IFNγ, in the patients were significantly higher than controls. The percentages of Th22 cells were correlated positively with the frequency of IFN-γ(-) IL-17(+) IL-22(+) CD4(+) T cells, the values of body mass index (BMI) and homeostatic model assessment insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), and the levels of serum IL-22 in those patients.

Conclusion: Our data suggest that IL-22(+) CD4(+) T cells may contribute to the early process of T2DM.

Keywords: Th17; Th22; type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Demography
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism
  • Interleukin-17 / blood
  • Interleukins / blood*
  • Lymphocyte Count
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Th1 Cells / immunology
  • Th17 Cells / immunology
  • Young Adult


  • Interleukin-17
  • Interleukins
  • Interferon-gamma
  • interleukin-22