Roles of chemokine ligand-2 (CXCL2) and neutrophils in influencing endothelial cell function and inflammation of human adipose tissue

Endocrinology. 2013 Mar;154(3):1069-79. doi: 10.1210/en.2012-1415. Epub 2013 Jan 31.


The hypertrophied white adipose tissue (WAT) during human obesity produces inflammatory mediators, including cytokines (IL-6 and TNFα) and chemokines ([C-C motif] chemokine ligand 2 and IL-8). These inflammatory factors are preferentially produced by the nonadipose cells, particularly the adipose tissue infiltrating macrophages. We identified the chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 2 (CXCL2) by a transcriptomic approach. Because CXCL2 could represent a WAT-produced chemokine, we explored its role in obesity-associated inflammation. CXCL2 levels in serum and mRNA in WAT were higher in obese subjects compared with lean ones. CXCL2 secretions were higher in sc and visceral (vis) WAT from obese compared with lean subjects. In vis WAT, CXCL2 mRNA expression was higher in macrophages compared with other WAT cells and positively correlated with the inflammatory macrophage markers TNFα and IL-6. CXCL2 triggered the in vitro adhesion of the neutrophils, its selective cell targets, to endothelial cells (ECs) of vis WAT (vis WAT-ECs). Immunohistological analysis indicated that activated neutrophils were adherent to the endothelium of vis WAT from human obese subjects. Blood neutrophils from obese subjects released high levels of proinflammatory mediators (IL-8, chemokine motif ligand 2 [CCL2], matrix metalloproteinase [MMP] 9, and myeloperoxidase [MPO]). Visceral WAT-ECs, treated by neutrophil-conditioned media prepared from obese subjects, displayed an increase of the expression of inflammatory molecules associated with senescence and angiogenic capacities. To conclude, CXCL2, a WAT-produced chemokine being up-regulated in obesity, stimulates neutrophil adhesion to vis WAT-ECs. Activated neutrophils in obesity may influence vis WAT-ECs functions and contribute to WAT inflammation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue, White / pathology
  • Adipose Tissue, White / physiopathology*
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cell Adhesion / physiology
  • Chemokine CXCL2 / genetics
  • Chemokine CXCL2 / physiology*
  • Chemokines / physiology
  • Endothelial Cells / pathology
  • Endothelial Cells / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / etiology
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Inflammation / physiopathology
  • Inflammation Mediators / physiology
  • Neutrophil Activation / physiology
  • Neutrophils / pathology
  • Neutrophils / physiology*
  • Obesity, Morbid / genetics
  • Obesity, Morbid / pathology
  • Obesity, Morbid / physiopathology*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism


  • CXCL2 protein, human
  • Chemokine CXCL2
  • Chemokines
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • RNA, Messenger