CD36 is a multifunctional scavenger receptor and lipid transporter implicated in metabolic and inflammatory pathologies, as well as cancer progression. CD36 is known to be expressed by adipocytes and monocytes/macrophages, but its expression by T cells is not clearly established. We found that CD4 and CD8 T cells in adipose tissue and liver of humans, monkeys, and mice upregulated CD36 expression (ranging from ~5-40% CD36+), whereas little to no CD36 was expressed by T cells in blood, spleen, and lymph nodes. CD36 was expressed predominantly by resting CD38-, HLA.DR-, and PD-1- adipose tissue T cells in monkeys, and increased during high-fat feeding in mice. Adipose tissue and liver promote a distinct phenotype in resident T cells characterized by CD36 upregulation.
Keywords: Adipose tissue; CD36; T cells; metabolism; obesity.