Absence of Tlr2 protects against high-fat diet-induced inflammation and results in greater insulin-stimulated glucose transport in cultured adipocytes

J Nutr Biochem. 2011 Feb;22(2):136-41. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2009.12.008.


We have previously shown that toll-like receptor-4 (Tlr4) is involved in obesity-induced inflammation in adipose tissue (AT). However, less is known about the role of Tlr2 in this process. To determine the involvement of this receptor in obesity-induced inflammation, we utilized male Tlr2(-/-) mice that were backcrossed onto a mouse model of diet-induced obesity (DIO). Mice were fed either low-fat control (LFD) or high-fat diet (HFD) ad libitum for 16 weeks. Despite negligible differences in body weight or energy intake, Tlr2(-/-) mice were protected from HFD-induced adiposity as was evident by reduced epididymal fat pad weight and carcass lipid content. Corresponding with these effects was a blunted accumulation of F4/80-positive macrophages in AT of Tlr2(-/-) mice. Furthermore, transcript abundance of proinflammatory mediators, including monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) and nitric oxide synthase-2 (NOS2) in AT of Tlr2(-/-) mice, was lower or less responsive to DIO. There were no significant differences in serum markers of insulin sensitivity (data not shown). However, adipocytes derived from stromal vascular cells (SVCs) isolated from AT of Tlr2(-/-) mice had considerably greater basal and insulin-stimulated glucose uptake as compared with those obtained from Tlr2(+/+) mice. Furthermore, the absence of Tlr2(-/-) precluded the induction of insulin resistance by zymosan A (ZymA) but not by palmitate. These data indicate that Tlr2 may be directly involved in HFD-induced inflammation and may also regulate basal and insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in adipocytes.

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / metabolism*
  • Adipose Tissue / cytology
  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • Body Weight
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chemokine CCL2 / metabolism
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Energy Intake
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Inflammation / chemically induced*
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II / metabolism
  • Random Allocation
  • Toll-Like Receptor 2 / deficiency
  • Toll-Like Receptor 2 / genetics*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Ccl2 protein, mouse
  • Chemokine CCL2
  • Dietary Fats
  • Insulin
  • Tlr2 protein, mouse
  • Toll-Like Receptor 2
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II
  • Nos2 protein, mouse
  • Glucose