Reviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 283–292 | Cite as

Innate immune cells in the adipose tissue

  • Kyoung-Jin ChungEmail author
  • Marina Nati
  • Triantafyllos ChavakisEmail author
  • Antonios Chatzigeorgiou


Immune cells are present in the adipose tissue (AT) and regulate its function. Under lean conditions, immune cells predominantly of type 2 immunity, including eosinophils, M2-like anti-inflammatory macrophages and innate lymphoid cells 2, contribute to the maintenance of metabolic homeostasis within the AT. In the course of obesity, pro-inflammatory immune cells, such as M1-like macrophages, prevail in the AT. Inflammation in the obese AT is associated with the development of metabolic complications such as insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Thus, the immune cell-adipocyte crosstalk in the AT is an important regulator of AT function and systemic metabolism. We discuss herein this crosstalk with a special focus on the role of innate immune cells in AT inflammation and metabolic homeostasis in obesity.


Adipose tissue Inflammation Obesity Innate immunity Macrophages Eosinophils Innate lymphoid cells 



Supported by grants from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (FOR 2599 to AC and IRTG2251 to TC).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Paul Langerhans Institute Dresden of the Helmholtz Center MunichUniversity Hospital and Faculty of Medicine, TU DresdenDresdenGermany
  2. 2.German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD e.V.)NeuherbergGermany
  3. 3.Institute for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Faculty of MedicineTU DresdenDresdenGermany

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