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Effects of intravenous glucose and lipids on innate immune cell activation in healthy, obese, and type 2 diabetic subjects.


Atherosclerosis/cardiovascular disease are major causes of morbidity/mortality in obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D), and have been associated with activation of innate immune cells, their diapedesis to the arterial intima and formation of the atherosclerotic plaque. While in obesity/T2D immune cell activation likely depends on dysregulated metabolism, the interaction between individual metabolic factors typical of these conditions (hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia), innate immune cell activation, and the progression of atherosclerosis remains unclear. We, therefore, measured by flow cytometry cell surface expression of CD11b, CD14, CD16, CD62L, and CD66b, known markers of granulocyte (Gc) and monocyte (Mc) activation, in five healthy, five obese, and five T2D subjects, during 4-h i.v. infusions of 20% dextrose (raising blood sugar levels to ~220 mg/dL), 20% Intralipid (raising trygliceride levels to ~6 mmol/L), or a combination of the two. We hypothesized that both glucose and lipids would increase Gc/Mc surface marker expression, and simultaneous infusion would have an additive or synergistic effect. Surprisingly, though, infusion of glucose alone had little effect, while lipids, alone or combined with glucose, significantly increased expression of several markers (such as CD11b in Gc and Mc, and CD66 b in GC) within 60-90 min. Less pronounced increases in systemic inflammatory cytokines also occurred in obese and T2D subject, with no acute changes in gene expression of the the proinflammatory genes NFκB and CCR2. Our results suggest that lipids may be stronger acute contributors to innate cell activation than acute hyperglycemia per se, possibly helping shape more effective preventive dietary guidelines in T2D.

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