Abstract 3592: Early Detection Of CD4-positive Lymphocytes In Adipose Tissue During The Development Of Insulin Resistance
Background: Adipose tissue inflammation may play a critical role in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance (IR) and arteriosclerosis. Previous work has mainly focused on the role of macrophages in human adipose tissue, but little is known about pro-inflammatory T-lymphocytes. Therefore the present study examined the role of CD4-positive lymphocytes in adipose tissue inflammation and IR.
Results: Both, CD4-positive lymphocytes and macrophages are present in human visceral adipose tissue as determined by immunohistochemical staining. Most macrophages were HLA-DR positive, reflecting activation through IFNγ, a cytokine released from CD4-positive lymphocytes. Furthermore, SDF-1α, a T-cell chemotactic protein, was also detectable in human adipose tissue. RT-PCR analyses confirmed the expression of IFNγ and SDF1α in visceral adipose tissue. Freshly isolated human adipocytes as well SGBS adipocyte cells express SDF-1α with a down regulation of its expression during adipocyte differentiation in both cell types. In a mouse model of IR, high fat diet induced IR already after 5 weeks which was associated with a marked lymphocyte infiltration in visceral adipose tissue as determined by immunohistochemical staining and RT-PCR. In contrast, macrophages were absent after 5 weeks of diet but could be detected at week 10, suggesting early infiltration of lymphocytes during the development of IR.
Conclusion: Pro-inflammatory T-lymphocytes are present in visceral adipose tissue and may contribute to local inflammatory cell activation before the appearance of macrophages. These data suggest that lymphocytes may play an important role in the initiation and perpetuation of adipose tissue inflammation as well as the development of insulin resistance.