Activated type 2 innate lymphoid cells regulate beige fat biogenesis

Cell. 2015 Jan 15;160(1-2):74-87. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.12.011. Epub 2014 Dec 24.


Type 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s), an innate source of the type 2 cytokines interleukin (IL)-5 and -13, participate in the maintenance of tissue homeostasis. Although type 2 immunity is critically important for mediating metabolic adaptations to environmental cold, the functions of ILC2s in beige or brown fat development are poorly defined. We report here that activation of ILC2s by IL-33 is sufficient to promote the growth of functional beige fat in thermoneutral mice. Mechanistically, ILC2 activation results in the proliferation of bipotential adipocyte precursors (APs) and their subsequent commitment to the beige fat lineage. Loss- and gain-of-function studies reveal that ILC2- and eosinophil-derived type 2 cytokines stimulate signaling via the IL-4Rα in PDGFRα(+) APs to promote beige fat biogenesis. Together, our results highlight a critical role for ILC2s and type 2 cytokines in the regulation of adipocyte precursor numbers and fate, and as a consequence, adipose tissue homeostasis. PAPERCLIP:

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / cytology
  • Adipocytes / metabolism
  • Adipose Tissue, Brown / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Female
  • Interleukin-13 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-33
  • Interleukins / immunology
  • Lymphocytes / cytology
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Receptor, Platelet-Derived Growth Factor alpha / metabolism
  • Receptors, Interleukin-4 / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stem Cells / metabolism


  • Il33 protein, mouse
  • Interleukin-13
  • Interleukin-33
  • Interleukins
  • Receptors, Interleukin-4
  • Receptor, Platelet-Derived Growth Factor alpha