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JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Cellular and molecular players in adipose tissue inflammation in the development of obesity-induced insulin resistance

Byung-Cheol Lee, Jongsoon Lee
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 2014, 1842 (3): 446-62
23707515
There is increasing evidence showing that inflammation is an important pathogenic mediator of the development of obesity-induced insulin resistance. It is now generally accepted that tissue-resident immune cells play a major role in the regulation of this obesity-induced inflammation. The roles that adipose tissue (AT)-resident immune cells play have been particularly extensively studied. AT contains most types of immune cells and obesity increases their numbers and activation levels, particularly in AT macrophages (ATMs). Other pro-inflammatory cells found in AT include neutrophils, Th1 CD4 T cells, CD8 T cells, B cells, DCs, and mast cells. However, AT also contains anti-inflammatory cells that counter the pro-inflammatory immune cells that are responsible for the obesity-induced inflammation in this tissue. These anti-inflammatory cells include regulatory CD4 T cells (Tregs), Th2 CD4 T cells, and eosinophils. Hence, AT inflammation is shaped by the regulation of pro- and anti-inflammatory immune cell homeostasis, and obesity skews this balance towards a more pro-inflammatory status. Recent genetic studies revealed several molecules that participate in the development of obesity-induced inflammation and insulin resistance. In this review, the cellular and molecular players that participate in the regulation of obesity-induced inflammation and insulin resistance are discussed, with particular attention being placed on the roles of the cellular players in these pathogeneses. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Modulation of Adipose Tissue in Health and Disease.

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