Role of immune cells in obesity induced low grade inflammation and insulin resistance

Cell Immunol. 2017 May;315:18-26. doi: 10.1016/j.cellimm.2017.03.001. Epub 2017 Mar 7.


The frequency of obesity is enormously growing worldwide. Obesity results when energy intake exceeds, energy expenditure. Excess adiposity is a major risk factor in the progress of various metabolic disorders accounting insulin resistance, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, polycystic ovarian disease and several types of cancers. Obesity is characterized by pro-inflammatory condition in which hypertrophied adipose tissue along with immune cells contribute to increase the level of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Immune cells are the key players in inducing low grade chronic inflammation in obesity and are main factor responsible for pathogenesis of insulin resistance resulting Type 2 diabetes. The current review is aimed to investigate the mechanism of pro-inflammatory responses and insulin resistance involving immune cells and their products in obesity.

Keywords: Adipose tissues; Immune cells; Inflammation; Insulin resistance; Obesity.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / metabolism
  • Adipose Tissue / immunology
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Cytokines / physiology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / immunology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / etiology
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Insulin Resistance* / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Mast Cells / immunology
  • Models, Immunological
  • Myeloid Cells / immunology*
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / immunology*


  • Cytokines