Elevated circulating CD16+ monocytes and TLR4+ monocytes in older adults with multiple cardiometabolic disease risk factors

Exp Gerontol. 2021 Oct 15;154:111530. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2021.111530. Epub 2021 Aug 24.


We endeavored to examine relationships between circulating monocyte phenotype and cardio-metabolic disease risk, in healthy, older adults. We performed a secondary data analysis on men and women, 55-75 yr, who were assigned to groups based on cardio-metabolic risk factors other than age. Subject in the low risk group (n = 16, 12 females) had fewer than three risk factors. Subjects in the elevated risk group (n = 29, 19 females) had three or more risk factors. Along with baseline screening for fitness and body composition, resting blood samples were assessed for markers of inflammation including: monocyte phenotype (inflammatory monocytes), monocyte cell-surface TLR4 expression, and serum C-reactive protein. The low risk group had a smaller (19.3% difference; p < 0.0001) waist circumference and lower body fat weight (36.3%; p < 0.0001), but higher V̇02max (45.5%; p = 0.0019). There were no mean differences (p > 0.05) between the low and elevated risk groups for BMI, serum cholesterol, fasting glucose, or leg press 1RM. The low risk group had lower CRP (114.7%, p = 0.0002), higher CD14+CD16- (classical) monocytes (6.7%; p = 0.0231) and fewer CD14+CD16+ (inflammatory) monocytes (46.2%; p = 0.0243) than the elevated risk group. The low risk group also had a lower percentage of CD14+CD16- monocytes that were positive for TLR4 (14.0%; p = 0.0328). Older men and women with fewer cardio-metabolic risk factors had lower serum and cellular markers of inflammation and higher aerobic capacity.

Keywords: Exercise; Hyperlipidemia; Immune system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Diseases*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monocytes*
  • Receptors, IgG
  • Risk Factors
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4


  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors
  • Receptors, IgG
  • TLR4 protein, human
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4