Total and differential white blood cell counts and their associations with circulating interleukin-6 levels in community-dwelling older women

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is an inflammatory biomediator, and age-related increases in IL-6 levels are associated with osteoporosis, sarcopenia, disability, and mortality in ofder adults. Although white blood cells (WBC), or leukocytes, are known to produce IL-6 in vitro, their in vivo relationship with circulating IL-6 levels is not well established. Methods. In this cross-sectional analysis of data from the Women's Health and Aging Study 1, the authors evaluated the relationships of total WBC and WBC differential (neutrophil, monocyte, lymphocyte, eosinophil, and basophil) counts to circulating IL-6 levels in 619 community-dwelling older women. Potential associations of age, race, and cigarette smoking with total and differential WBC counts and IL-6 levels were also assessed. Results. Except for lymphocyte and basophil counts, significant associations of total WBC, neutrophil, monocyte, and eosinophil counts with IL-6 levels were identified. These associations remained highly significant after adjustment for age, race, and smoking status. Total WBC, neutrophil, monocyte, and eosinophil counts had significant stepwise increases in four escalating quartiles of IL-6 levels. In addition, age, race, and cigarette smoking were differentially associated with total and differential WBC counts and IL-6 levels. Conclusions. Positive in vivo associations of total WBC and its specific subpopulations were identified, including neutrophils, monocytes, and eosinophils, with circulating IL-6 levels in community-dwelling older women. These findings suggest significant contributions of WBC and its subpopulations to circulating IL-6 levels and potential effects from chronic elevation of IL-6 levels to the function of these circulating immune cells that warrant further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-199
Number of pages5
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Volume60
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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