Leptin induces immunosenescence in human B cells

Daniela Frasca, Alain Diaz, Maria Romero, Bonnie B. Blomberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Leptin is an adipokine secreted primarily by the adipocytes. Leptin has endocrine and immune functions and increases the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines by immune cells. Here we show that incubation of B cells from young lean individuals with leptin increases the frequencies of pro-inflammatory B cells and induces intrinsic B cell inflammation, characterized by mRNA expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α and IL-6), chemokines (IL-8), micro-RNAs (miR-155 and miR-16), TLR4 and p16, a cell cycle regulator associated with immunosenescence. We have previously shown that the expression of these pro-inflammatory markers in unstimulated B cells is negatively associated with the response of the same B cells after in vivo or in vitro stimulation. B cells from young lean individuals, after in vitro incubation with leptin, show reduced class switch and influenza vaccine-specific IgG production. Our results altogether show that leptin makes B cells from youn lean individuals similar to those from young obese and elderly lean individuals, suggesting that leptin may be a mechanisms of immunosenescence in human B cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103994
JournalCellular Immunology
StatePublished - Feb 2020


  • B cells
  • Immunosenescence
  • Leptin
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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