Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Clin Invest. 2012 Sep;122(9):3343-54. doi: 10.1172/JCI62739. Epub 2012 Aug 6.

Natural killer T cells in adipose tissue prevent insulin resistance.

Author information

1
Department of Metabolic Diseases, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Abstract

Lipid overload and adipocyte dysfunction are key to the development of insulin resistance and can be induced by a high-fat diet. CD1d-restricted invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells have been proposed as mediators between lipid overload and insulin resistance, but recent studies found decreased iNKT cell numbers and marginal effects of iNKT cell depletion on insulin resistance under high-fat diet conditions. Here, we focused on the role of iNKT cells under normal conditions. We showed that iNKT cell-deficient mice on a low-fat diet, considered a normal diet for mice, displayed a distinctive insulin resistance phenotype without overt adipose tissue inflammation. Insulin resistance was characterized by adipocyte dysfunction, including adipocyte hypertrophy, increased leptin, and decreased adiponectin levels. The lack of liver abnormalities in CD1d-null mice together with the enrichment of CD1d-restricted iNKT cells in both mouse and human adipose tissue indicated a specific role for adipose tissue-resident iNKT cells in the development of insulin resistance. Strikingly, iNKT cell function was directly modulated by adipocytes, which acted as lipid antigen-presenting cells in a CD1d-mediated fashion. Based on these findings, we propose that, especially under low-fat diet conditions, adipose tissue-resident iNKT cells maintain healthy adipose tissue through direct interplay with adipocytes and prevent insulin resistance.

PMID:
22863618
PMCID:
PMC3428087
DOI:
10.1172/JCI62739
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Society for Clinical Investigation Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center