An investigation into the effects of metabolic disturbance on monocyte inflammatory response and regulation

  • Justin Killick

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The presence of chronic inflammation is associated with increased nutrient availability during obesity or type 2 diabetes which contributes to the development of complications such as atherosclerosis, stroke and myocardial infarction. The link between increased nutrient availability and inflammatory
response remains poorly understood. The functioning of monocytes, the primary instigators of the inflammatory response was assessed in response to obesity and increased glucose availability.
Monocyte microRNA expression was assessed in obese individuals prior to and up to one year after bariatric surgery. A number of microRNAs were identified to be dysregulated in obesity, some of which have previously been linked to the regulation of monocyte inflammatory responses including the microRNAs 146a-5p and 424-5p. Weight loss in response to bariatric surgery lead to the reversal of microRNA changes towards control values.
In vitro treatments of THP-1 monocytes with high concentrations of D-glucose resulted in decreased intracellular NAD+:NADH ratio, decreased SIRT1 deacetylase activity and increased P65 acetylation. However the increased osmotic concentration inhibited LPS induced inflammatory response and
TNFα mRNA expression.
In vitro treatment of primary human monocytes with increased concentrations of D-glucose resulted in increased secretion of a number of inflammatory cytokines and increased expression of TNFα
mRNA. Treatment also resulted in decreased intracellular NAD+:NADH ratio and increased binding of acetylated P65 to the TNFα promoter region. In vitro treatments of primary monocytes also replicated the altered expression of the microRNAs 146a-5p and miR-424-5p, as seen in obese individuals.
In conclusion a number of changes in monocyte function were observed in response to obesity and treatment with high concentrations of D-glucose. These may lead to the dysregulation of inflammatory responses contributing to the development of co-morbidities.
Date of AwardSept 2016
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorHelen R Griffiths (Supervisor) & James E Brown (Supervisor)


  • monocytes
  • high glucose
  • inflammation
  • bariatric surgery
  • microRNA

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