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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2011 Oct;31(10):2251-60. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.111.231357. Epub 2011 Aug 4.

CD40L deficiency ameliorates adipose tissue inflammation and metabolic manifestations of obesity in mice.

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Department of Pathology, Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht, Maastricht University, the Netherlands.



Obese adipose tissue shows hallmarks of chronic inflammation, which promotes the development of metabolic disorders. The mechanisms by which immune cells interact with each other or with metabolism-associated cell types, and the players involved, are still unclear. The CD40-CD40L costimulatory dyad plays a pivotal role in immune responses and in diseases such as atherosclerosis and may therefore be a mediator of obesity. Here we investigated whether CD40L is involved in adipose tissue inflammation and its associated metabolic changes.


To assess a putative role of CD40L in obesity in vivo, we evaluated metabolic and inflammatory consequences of 18 weeks of high-fat feeding in CD40L(+/+) and CD40L(-/-) mice. In addition, C57Bl6 mice were injected with neutralizing anti-CD40L (αCD40L) antibody for 12 weeks while being fed a high-fat diet. Genetic deficiency of CD40L attenuated the development of diet-induced obesity, hepatic steatosis, and increased systemic insulin sensitivity. In adipose tissue, it impaired obesity-induced immune cell infiltration and the associated deterioration of glucose and lipid metabolism. Accordingly, αCD40L treatment improved systemic insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance, and CD4(+) T-cell infiltration in adipose tissue with limited effects on adipose tissue weight.


CD40L plays a crucial role in the development of obesity-induced inflammation and metabolic complications.

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