The immune system's involvement in obesity-driven type 2 diabetes

Semin Immunol. 2012 Dec;24(6):436-42. doi: 10.1016/j.smim.2012.12.001. Epub 2013 Jan 18.


Type 2 diabetes is now a worldwide epidemic, strongly correlated with an elevated incidence of obesity. Obesity-associated adipose tissue inflammation is a major cause of the decreased insulin sensitivity seen in type 2 diabetes. Recent studies have shed light on the cross-talk between the immune system and organismal metabolism. This review discusses the connection between inflammation in adipose tissue and systemic insulin resistance, focusing on the roles of innate and adaptive immune cell subsets in the pathogenesis of this metabolic disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / immunology
  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / immunology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Mice
  • Obesity / immunology*
  • Obesity / physiopathology*