Lymphocytes upregulate CD36 in adipose tissue and liver

Adipocyte. 2019 Dec;8(1):154-163. doi: 10.1080/21623945.2019.1609202.


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.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / cytology
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • CD36 Antigens / genetics*
  • CD36 Antigens / metabolism
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Liver / cytology
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Up-Regulation


  • CD36 Antigens