Immunosuppressant drugs, such as methotrexate, are able to inhibit cytokine production and leukocyte migration to inflammatory foci; therefore, they could modify the establishment of inflammation in adipose tissue during obesity. Thus, we studied the effects of methotrexate in vivo on high-fat diet induced-obesity in mice and in vitro in isolated and co-cultured adipocytes and macrophages. Obese mice treated with methotrexate presented reduced serum levels of TNF-α, insulin and glucose, and an improvement of insulin sensitivity. Adipose tissue from these mice produced less proinflammatory (TNF-α, IL-6, leptin) and more anti-inflammatory adipokines (adiponectin and IL-10) associated with reduced macrophage infiltration and inflammation. Cytokine inhibition was also confirmed in isolated and co-cultured adipocytes and macrophages. Methotrexate presented anti-lipolytic effect in vivo and, in vitro through adenosine release. Drugs that combine anti-lipolytic effect and the ability to control inflammation in adipose tissue could play a role in the control of insulin resistance and other pathologies associated with obesity.
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