Obesity is related with variations in the functionality of immune cells such as macrophages and natural killer cells (NK), leading to high risk for infections and different forms of cancer. However, invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells are a subset of innate-like T cells that are the first cells to respond during an infection and can contribute to tissue homeostasis, inflammation and also damage by unbalanced production of pro- and anti-inflammatory adipocytokines which could affect adipose tissue remodeling processes. This study aimed to examine the relationship between the level of circulating iNKT cells and the expression of killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) from both obese and non-obese individuals. The study was conducted in King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. iNKT cells and CD56+CD3+ T cells were studied in samples of peripheral blood. The study comprised of 2 groups: non-obese Saudi men and women with BMI < 30 and obese Saudi men and women with BMI > 30. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated and examined. Results show that the percentage of iNKT cells in peripheral blood in obese was lower compared with non-obese. We also determined the level and number of CD3+CD56+ and found that their percentage was higher in obese compared with non-obese. These results are of great interest to research, considering obesity as one of the main causes of chronic low-grade inflammation, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus; obesity and its consequental disorders are common in our population and other populations worldwide.
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