Elevated adipose tissue associated IL-2 expression in obesity correlates with metabolic inflammation and insulin resistance

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Adipose tissue (AT) associated cytokines are involved in the development of chronic low-grade inflammation in obese individuals. IL-2, a pleiotropic cytokine, contributes to immune alterations during inflammation. However, the interaction between AT-IL-2 and other inflammatory biomolecules in obesity remains elusive. We investigated whether AT-IL-2 expression was associated with markers of inflammation and insulin resistance in overweight/obese individuals. Subcutaneous fat tissues were collected from 56 individuals (lean/overweight/obese) for RNA extraction. IL-2 and inflammatory mediators were quantified by qRT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. CRP was measured by ELISA. AT-IL-2 expression was higher in obese compared with lean individuals (P < 0.021) and correlated with BMI. IL-2 correlated with interleukins IL-8 and IL-12A (r = 0.333–0.481; p = 0.0001–0.029); as well as with chemokines and their receptors including CCL5, CCL19, CCR2 and CCR5 (r = 0.538–0.677; p < 0.0001). Moreover, IL-2 correlated with toll-like receptors (TLR2, TLR8, TLR10), interferon regulatory factor 5 (IRF5) and cluster of differentiation CD11c (r = 0.282–0.357; p < 0.039). Notably, IL-2 was associated positively with fasting blood glucose (FBG), HbA1c, TGL and CRP (r ≥ 0.423;P ≤ 0.007). In multiple regression analysis, IL-2 is an independent predictor of IL-8, IL-12A, TLR10, TGL and HbA1c. Overall, our data demonstrate that increased expression of the AT-IL-2, in obesity, may represent a novel biomarker for progression of metabolic inflammation and insulin-resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16364
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020

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