Visceral adipose tissue (VAT) hosts a population of regulatory T (Treg) cells, with a unique phenotype, that controls local and systemic inflammation and metabolism. Generation of a T cell receptor transgenic mouse line, wherein VAT Tregs are highly enriched, facilitated study of their provenance, dependencies, and activities. We definitively established a role for T cell receptor specificity, uncovered an unexpected function for the primordial Treg transcription-factor, Foxp3, evidenced a cell-intrinsic role for interleukin-33 receptor, and ordered these dependencies within a coherent scenario. Genesis of the VAT-Treg phenotype entailed a priming step in the spleen, permitting them to exit the lymphoid organs and surveil nonlymphoid tissues, and a final diversification process within VAT, in response to microenvironmental cues. Understanding the principles of tissue-Treg biology is a prerequisite for precision-targeting strategies.
Keywords: Foxp3; IL-33; PPARγ; TCR transgenic mice; adipose tissue; immunometabolism; immunoregulation; regulatory T cell.
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