Cell Metab. 2015 Jul;22(1):113-24
PubMed ID: 26094890
In obesity, insulin resistance is linked to inflammation in several tissues. Although the gut is a very large lymphoid tissue, inflammation in the absorptive small intestine, the jejunum, where insulin regulates lipid and sugar absorption is unknown. We analyzed jejunal samples of 185 obese subjects stratified in three metabolic groups: without comorbidity, suffering from obesity-related comorbidity, and diabetic, versus 33 lean controls. Obesity increased both mucosa surface due to lower cell apoptosis and innate and adaptive immune cell populations. The preferential CD8αβ T cell location in epithelium over lamina propria appears a hallmark of obesity. Cytokine secretion by T cells from obese, but not lean, subjects blunted insulin signaling in enterocytes relevant to apical GLUT2 mislocation. Statistical links between T cell densities and BMI, NAFLD, or lipid metabolism suggest tissue crosstalk. Obesity triggers T-cell-mediated inflammation and enterocyte insulin resistance in the jejunum with potential broader systemic implications.