Adipose tissue immune response: novel triggers and consequences for chronic inflammatory conditions

Inflammation. 2014 Aug;37(4):1337-53. doi: 10.1007/s10753-014-9914-1.


Adipose tissue inflammation mediates the association between excessive body fat accumulation and several chronic inflammatory diseases. A high prevalence of obesity-associated adipose tissue inflammation was observed not only in patients with cardiovascular conditions but also in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases, abdominal aortic aneurysm, or cardiorenal syndrome. In addition to excessive caloric intake, other triggers promote visceral adipose tissue inflammation followed by chronic, low-grade systemic inflammation. The infiltration and accumulation of immune cells in the inflamed and hypertrophied adipose tissue promote the production of inflammatory cytokines, contributing to target organ damages. This comorbidity seems to delimit subgroups of individuals with systemic adipose tissue inflammation and more severe chronic inflammatory diseases that are refractory to conventional treatment. This review highlights the association between adipose tissue immune response and the pathophysiology of visceral adiposity-related chronic inflammatory diseases, while suggesting several new therapeutic strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / metabolism
  • Adipose Tissue / immunology
  • Adipose Tissue / pathology*
  • Angiotensins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal / pathology
  • Cardio-Renal Syndrome / pathology
  • Comorbidity
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology
  • Granulocytes / cytology
  • Humans
  • Immune System
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / pathology
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / pathology
  • Killer Cells, Natural / cytology
  • Macrophages / cytology
  • Monocytes / cytology
  • Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon / agonists
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • Uremia / pathology


  • Adiponectin
  • Angiotensins
  • Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon