When diet and exercise are not enough, think immunomodulation

Jennifer E. Snyder-Cappione, Barbara S. Nikolajczyk

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The incidences of obesity and Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) are rapidly on the rise and now considered global health epidemics. Clinical data indicate a physiologically critical connection between the metabolic and immune systems, as obese individuals are uniquely susceptible to infectious and autoimmune diseases. We discuss the relevance of mouse models of obesity and the potential development of a 'biomarker toolkit' from human blood, along with the current knowledge regarding immune cell profiles in blood and adipose tissue of obese individuals with or without concomitant diseases such as T2D and Metabolic Syndrome. Understanding how the immune system initiates, perpetuates, and/or exacerbates obesity-associated diseases could lead to novel immune-based therapies for the abrogation of disease progression especially in pre-diabetic patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-38
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Aspects of Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank Marie McDonnell and Amedeo Cappione III for critical reviews of this manuscript. Susan Fried, Martin Obin, Gerald Denis, Madhumita Jagannathan-Bogdan and Anna Belkina provide ongoing thoughtful conversations on immunometabolism. This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grant R21DK089270 and the Boston Nutrition Obesity Research Center.


  • Natural killer cell
  • Obesity
  • Regulatory T cell
  • T cell
  • Th17
  • Type 2 Diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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