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A possible secondary immune response in adipose tissue during weight cycling: The ups and downs of yo-yo dieting.


Anderson-Baucum EKEmily K , Major AS Amy S , Hasty AH Alyssa H . Adipocyte. 2014 4 1; 3(2). 141-5


The field of immunometabolism is burgeoning, with hundreds of papers published on the topic each year. Our understanding of the contribution of immune cells to metabolic regulation has expanded from a simple idea of innate immune cells, such as macrophages, altering adipose tissue function in obesity, to an awareness of the complex role of adaptive immunity in many different organ systems. Recent findings have clearly demonstrated the presence of adaptive lymphocytes, such as T and B cells, in adipose tissue. Furthermore, these data demonstrated T-cell accumulation and limited T-cell receptor repertoire diversity in obese adipose tissue, indicating that an antigen-specific immune response may occur within this tissue. In a recently published paper, we reported that a mouse model of weight cycling resulted in increased T-cell accumulation in adipose tissue. In the current commentary, we discuss the possibility that this increase in adipose tissue T-cell number could represent a local secondary immune response to self-antigens exposed in adipose tissue during obesity. If further experimentation indicates that this hypothesis is true, these data will fortify the concept that obesity is a complex immune-mediated disease and would emphasize the importance of designing therapies to maintain weight loss.