Lei Shen

Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, United States

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Publications (3)42.53 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Obesity-related insulin resistance is a chronic inflammatory condition that often gives rise to type 2 diabetes (T2D). Much evidence supports a role for pro-inflammatory T cells and macrophages in promoting local inflammation in tissues such as visceral adipose tissue (VAT) leading to insulin resistance. More recently, B cells have emerged as an additional critical player in orchestrating these processes. B cells infiltrate VAT and display functional and phenotypic changes in response to diet-induced obesity. B cells contribute to insulin resistance by presenting antigens to T cells, secreting inflammatory cytokines, and producing pathogenic antibodies. B cell manipulation represents a novel approach to the treatment of obesity-related insulin resistance and potentially to the prevention of T2D. This review summarizes the roles of B cells in governing VAT inflammation and the mechanisms by which these cells contribute to altered glucose homeostasis in insulin resistance.
    Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS 10/2013; · 5.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic inflammation characterized by T cell and macrophage infiltration of visceral adipose tissue (VAT) is a hallmark of obesity-associated insulin resistance and glucose intolerance. Here we show a fundamental pathogenic role for B cells in the development of these metabolic abnormalities. B cells accumulate in VAT in diet-induced obese (DIO) mice, and DIO mice lacking B cells are protected from disease despite weight gain. B cell effects on glucose metabolism are mechanistically linked to the activation of proinflammatory macrophages and T cells and to the production of pathogenic IgG antibodies. Treatment with a B cell-depleting CD20 antibody attenuates disease, whereas transfer of IgG from DIO mice rapidly induces insulin resistance and glucose intolerance. Moreover, insulin resistance in obese humans is associated with a unique profile of IgG autoantibodies. These results establish the importance of B cells and adaptive immunity in insulin resistance and suggest new diagnostic and therapeutic modalities for managing the disease.
    Nature medicine 05/2011; 17(5):610-7. · 27.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pediatric immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is usually self-limited. However, approximately 20% of children develop chronic ITP, which can be associated with significant morbidity because of long-term immunosuppression and splenectomy in refractory cases. To explore the molecular mechanism of chronic ITP compared with acute ITP, we studied 63 pediatric patients with ITP. Gene expression analysis of whole blood revealed distinct signatures for acute and chronic ITP. Oxidative stress-related pathways were among the most significant chronic ITP-associated pathways. Overexpression of VNN1, an oxidative stress sensor in epithelial cells, was most strongly associated with progression to chronic ITP. Studies of normal persons demonstrated VNN1 expression in a variety of blood cells. Exposure of blood mononuclear cells to oxidative stress inducers elicited dramatic up-regulation of VNN1 and down-regulation of PPARĪ³, indicating a role for VNN1 as a peripheral blood oxidative stress sensor. Assessment of redox state by tandem mass spectrometry demonstrated statistically significant lower glutathione ratios in patients with ITP versus healthy controls; lower glutathione ratios were also seen in untreated patients with ITP compared with recently treated patients. Our work demonstrates distinct patterns of gene expression in acute and chronic ITP and implicates oxidative stress pathways in the pathogenesis of chronic pediatric ITP.
    Blood 02/2011; 117(17):4569-79. · 9.78 Impact Factor