Review

Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 71, Issue 6, pp 1033-1043

First online:

B Lymphocytes in obesity-related adipose tissue inflammation and insulin resistance

  • Daniel A. WinerAffiliated withDepartment of Pathology, Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network, University of TorontoDivision of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Diabetes Research Group, Toronto General Research Institute (TGRI), University Health Network, University of Toronto
  • , Shawn WinerAffiliated withDepartment of Pathology, Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network, University of TorontoDivision of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Diabetes Research Group, Toronto General Research Institute (TGRI), University Health Network, University of Toronto
  • , Melissa H. Y. ChngAffiliated withDepartment of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine
  • , Lei ShenAffiliated withDepartment of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine
  • , Edgar G. EnglemanAffiliated withDepartment of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine Email author 

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Abstract

Obesity-related insulin resistance is a chronic inflammatory condition that often gives rise to type 2 diabetes (T2D). Much evidence supports a role for pro-inflammatory T cells and macrophages in promoting local inflammation in tissues such as visceral adipose tissue (VAT) leading to insulin resistance. More recently, B cells have emerged as an additional critical player in orchestrating these processes. B cells infiltrate VAT and display functional and phenotypic changes in response to diet-induced obesity. B cells contribute to insulin resistance by presenting antigens to T cells, secreting inflammatory cytokines, and producing pathogenic antibodies. B cell manipulation represents a novel approach to the treatment of obesity-related insulin resistance and potentially to the prevention of T2D. This review summarizes the roles of B cells in governing VAT inflammation and the mechanisms by which these cells contribute to altered glucose homeostasis in insulin resistance.

Keywords

Insulin resistance Type 2 diabetes B lymphocytes Inflammation Autoimmunity Macrophages T cells