A novel function of adipocytes in lipid antigen presentation to iNKT cells

Jin Young Huh, Jong In Kim, Yoon Jeong Park, In Jae Hwang, Yun Sok Lee, Jee Hyung Sohn, Sung Kyu Lee, Assim A. Alfadda, Su Sung Kim, Sung Hee Choi, Dong Sup Lee, Se Ho Park, Rho Hyun Seong, Cheol Soo Choi, Jae Bum Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Citations (Scopus)


Systemic low-grade chronic inflammation has been intensively investigated in obese subjects. Recently, various immune cell types, such as macrophages, granulocytes, helper T cells, cytotoxic T cells, and B cells, have been implicated in the pathogenesis of adipose tissue inflammation. However, the roles of invariant natural killer T cells (iNKT cells) and the regulation of iNKT cell activity in adipose tissue are not thoroughly understood. Here, we demonstrated that iNKT cells were decreased in number in the adipose tissue of obese subjects. Interestingly, CD1d, a molecule involved in lipid antigen presentation to iNKT cells, was highly expressed in adipocytes, and CD1d-expressing adipocytes stimulated iNKT cell activity through physical interaction. iNKT cell population and CD1d expression were reduced in the adipose tissue of obese mice and humans compared to those of lean subjects. Moreover, iNKT cell-deficient Jα18 knockout mice became more obese and exhibited increased adipose tissue inflammation at the early stage of obesity. These data suggest that adipocytes regulate iNKT cell activity via CD1d and that the interaction between adipocytes and iNKT cells may modulate adipose tissue inflammation in obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328-339
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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