Parallel Profiles of Inflammatory and Effector Memory T Cells in Visceral Fat and Liver of Obesity-Associated Cancer Patients

Inflammation. 2016 Oct;39(5):1729-36. doi: 10.1007/s10753-016-0407-2.


In the midst of a worsening obesity epidemic, the incidence of obesity-associated morbidities, including cancer, diabetes, cardiac and liver disease is increasing. Insights into mechanisms underlying pathological obesity-associated inflammation are lacking. Both the omentum, the principal component of visceral fat, and liver of obese individuals are sites of excessive inflammation, but to date the T cell profiles of both compartments have not been assessed or compared in a patient cohort with obesity-associated disease. We have previously identified that omentum is enriched with inflammatory cytokines, chemokines and T cells. Here, we compared the inflammatory profile of T cells in the omentum and liver of patients with the obesity-associated malignancy oesophageal adenocarcinoma (OAC). Furthermore, we assessed the secreted cytokine profile in OAC patient serum, omentum and liver to assess systemic and local inflammation. We observed parallel T cell cytokine profiles and phenotypes in the omentum and liver of OAC patients, in particular CD69(+) and inflammatory effector memory T cells. This study reflects similar processes of inflammation and T cell activation in the omentum and liver, and may suggest common targets to modulate pathological inflammation at these sites.

Keywords: T cells; cancer; inflammation; liver; obesity; omentum.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Cytokines / analysis
  • Esophageal Neoplasms
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / immunology
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / pathology*
  • Liver / immunology
  • Liver / pathology*
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / pathology*
  • Omentum / immunology
  • Omentum / pathology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*


  • Cytokines

Supplementary concepts

  • Adenocarcinoma Of Esophagus