Current Diabetes Reports

, 15:92 | Cite as

Adipose Tissue Inflammation in the Pathogenesis of Type 2 Diabetes

  • Ayano Kohlgruber
  • Lydia LynchEmail author
Pathogenesis of Type 2 Diabetes and Insulin Resistance (RM Watanabe, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Pathogenesis of Type 2 Diabetes and Insulin Resistance


At least 2.8 million people die each year as a result of being overweight or obese, and the biggest burden being obesity-related diseases. Overweight and obesity account for a major proportion of type 2 diabetes (T2D) cases. Obesity is associated with inflammation in adipose tissue, namely an infiltration and expansion of macrophages, which produce inflammatory cytokines that interfere with insulin signaling, and a loss of protective cells that promote adipose homeostasis. Thus, it is now clear that inflammation is an underlying cause or contributor to T2D as well as many other obesity-induced diseases, including atherosclerosis and cancer. Inflammatory pathways contribute to impaired glucose handling by adipocytes, hepatocytes, and muscle cells and interfere with insulin production and insulin signaling. This review highlights the roles of the different immune populations in lean adipose tissue and their importance in tissue homeostasis to keep inflammation at bay. We also discuss the changes that occur in these immune cells during the development of obesity, which has detrimental effects on the health of adipose tissue, and local and systemic insulin resistance.


Immune system Obesity Type 2 diabetes Innate immunity Adipose tissue Inflammation 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Ayano Kohlgruber and Lydia Lynch declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy, Department of Medicine Brigham and Women’s HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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