Macrophage and T cell networks in adipose tissue

Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2024 Jan;20(1):50-61. doi: 10.1038/s41574-023-00908-2. Epub 2023 Oct 23.


The signals and structure of the tissues in which leukocytes reside critically mould leukocyte function and development and have challenged our fundamental understanding of how to define and categorize tissue-resident immune cells. One specialized tissue niche that has a powerful effect on immune cell function is adipose tissue. The field of adipose tissue leukocyte biology has expanded dramatically and has revealed how tissue niches can shape immune cell function and reshape them in a setting of metabolic stress, such as obesity. Most notably, adipose tissue macrophages and T cells are under intense investigation due to their contributions to adipose tissue in the lean and obese states. Both adipose tissue macrophages and T cells have features associated with the metabolic function of adipose tissue that are distinct from features of macrophages and T cells that are classically characterized in other tissues. This Review provides state-of-the-art understanding of adipose tissue macrophages and T cells and discusses how their unique niche can help us to better understand diversity in leukocyte responses.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Macrophages
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes*