Inflammatory and anti-inflammatory states of adipose tissue in transgenic mice bearing a single TCR

Int Immunol. 2017 Jan 1;29(1):21-30. doi: 10.1093/intimm/dxx003.


Obesity is accompanied by chronic, low-grade inflammation in adipose tissue, which is associated with insulin resistance and consequent multiple metabolic diseases. In addition to M1 macrophage infiltration, multiple involvements of adipose tissue T lymphocytes in the progression of inflammation have been highlighted recently. Here, we isolated a specific Vα5/Vβ8.2 TCR-bearing T cell that accumulated in obese adipose tissue of mice, and generated transgenic mice expressing this TCR. Under lean conditions with a normal chow diet, CD4+FoxP3+ Treg cells and M2 macrophages increased in adipose tissue with ageing in wild-type mice, but not in transgenic mice. However, both mice exhibited no obvious adipose tissue inflammation such as the formation of crown-like structures (CLSs) of infiltrating macrophages. When fed a high-fat diet, the proportion of adipose tissue Treg cells was markedly small at a similar level in transgenic and wild-type mice. Both types of mice exhibited comparable inflammatory states in adipose tissue, including vast formation of macrophage CLSs, accompanied by insulin resistance. Together, our findings suggest that the absence of an increase in Treg cells and M2 macrophages is not sufficient to initiate inflammatory macrophage infiltration in lean adipose tissue and also provide a new view about the involvement of T cells in promoting obesity-associated inflammation.

Keywords: T cell; TCR transgenic mouse; adipose tissue inflammation; obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / immunology*
  • Adipose Tissue / pathology
  • Animals
  • Dietary Fats / adverse effects
  • Dietary Fats / pharmacology
  • Inflammation / chemically induced
  • Inflammation / genetics
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Macrophages / immunology*
  • Macrophages / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Obesity / chemically induced
  • Obesity / genetics
  • Obesity / immunology*
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / genetics
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / pathology


  • Dietary Fats
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta