Adipose tissue t regulatory cells: Implications for health and disease

David Bradley, Dharti Shantaram, Alan Smith, Willa A. Hsueh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Scopus citations


Obesity dramatically increases the risk of numerous conditions, including type 2 diabetes mellitus and other components of the metabolic syndrome. Pro-inflammatory changes that occur in adipose tissue are critical to the pathogenesis of these obesity-induced complications. Adipose tissue is one of the body’s largest endocrine organs, and the cells that comprise the adipose tissue immunoenvironment secrete multiple factors (including adipokines and cytokines) that impact systemic metabolism. In particular, immunosuppressive regulatory T cells (Tregs) decline in obesity, partly in response to its complex interaction with adipocytes, and this decline contributes to disruption of the typical homeostasis observed in lean adipose tissue. Although the regulation of Treg differentiation, function, and enrichment is incompletely understood, factors including various cell-surface co-stimulatory molecules, certain lipid species, and cytokines such as PPARγ, adiponectin, and leptin are important mediators. It is also clear that there may be depot-specific differences in Tregs, rendering adipose tissue Tregs distinct from lymphoid or circulating Tregs, with implications on maintenance and functionality. While most of these findings are derived from studies in murine models, comparatively little is known about the human adipose tissue Treg signature, which requires further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
Number of pages15
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598
ISSN (Electronic)2214-8019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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