Enhanced Myeloid Leukocytes in Obese Children and Adolescents at Risk for Metabolic Impairment

Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2020 May 27;11:327. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2020.00327. eCollection 2020.


Objective: We aimed to examine if myeloid leukocyte profiles are associated with metabolic impairment in children and adolescents with obesity, and if sex, age, or race influence this relationship. Methods: 282 children ages 8-17 were evaluated. Predictor measures were absolute neutrophil counts (ANC), absolute monocyte count, monocyte subtypes and C reactive protein (CRP). Outcome variables were waist circumference, fasting glucose and insulin, HOMA-IR, HbA1c (%) and lipid profiles. Pearson correlation coefficients were used to determine associations between predictor and outcome variables. Wilcoxon two-sample tests were used to evaluate differences by sex. Results: CRP (p < 0.0001), ANC (p < 0.0018), and classical monocytes (p = 0.05) were significantly higher in children with obesity. CRP, ANC and classical monocytes showed positive correlations with waist circumference, insulin, HOMA-IR and triglycerides. CRP was positively associated with ANC overall (p = 0.05). ANC demonstrated positive correlation with monocytes (p < 0.001). The associations between predictor and outcome variables were influenced by sex, race, and age. Conclusions: CRP and myeloid leukocyte populations, specifically classical monocytes and neutrophils associate with both body composition and metabolic parameters in children with obesity suggesting that these cells may play a critical role in metabolic impairment. Race, gender and age interactions between monocytes and metabolic parameters were significant.

Keywords: CRP; inflammation; insulin resistance; monocytes; pediatric obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Biomarkers / analysis*
  • Body Composition
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Leukocytes / pathology*
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / etiology
  • Myeloid Cells / pathology*
  • Pediatric Obesity / complications*
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Waist Circumference


  • Biomarkers