We evaluated immune response to the seasonal influenza vaccine in young and elderly patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). Immune measures included the in vivo serum response to the vaccine by hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) and ELISA in 22 patients (14 young, 8 elderly) and 65 healthy age-matched controls (37 young, 28 elderly). B cell-specific biomarkers of optimal vaccine response were measured ex vivo by switched memory B cells and plasmablasts and in vitro by activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) in stimulated cells. Markers of systemic and B cell-intrinsic inflammation were also measured. Results show that in vivo responses, as well as B cell-specific markers identified above, decrease with age in healthy individuals but not in T2D patients. This occurred despite high levels of B cell-intrinsic inflammation (TNF-α) in T2D patients, which was surprising as we had previously demonstrated this negatively impacts B cell function. We have preliminary data to indicate that the innate immune system of T2D patients is beneficially hyperactivated and we suggest that this may induce a direct stimulation of B cells. These results altogether suggest that valid protection against influenza can be achieved in T2D patients and proposed mechanisms are discussed.
- Copyright © 2013 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.