Studies to understand the pathogenesis of obesity have revealed mediators that are responsible for the control of food intake and metabolism at the hypothalamic level. However, molecular insight explaining the link between obesity and low-degree chronic inflammation remains elusive. The adipocyte-derived hormone leptin, and thereby the nutritional status, could control immune self-tolerance by affecting regulatory T (Treg) cell responsiveness and function. Furthermore, resident Treg cells, which are capable of modulating metabolism and glucose homeostasis, are abundant in adipose tissue. Here, we provide an update on recent findings relating Treg cells to obesity and discuss how the intricate network of interactions among leptin, Treg cells and adipose tissue might provide new strategies for therapeutic interventions.
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