Adipose group 1 innate lymphoid cells promote adipose tissue fibrosis and diabetes in obesity

Hongdong Wang, Lei Shen, Xitai Sun, Fangcen Liu, Wenhuan Feng, Chunping Jiang, Xuehui Chu, Xiao Ye, Can Jiang, Yan Wang, Pengzi Zhang, Mengwei Zang, Dalong Zhu, Yan Bi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Pathogenic factors driving obesity to type 2 diabetes (T2D) are not fully understood. Group 1 innate lymphoid cells (ILC1s) are effectors of innate immunity and enriched in inflamed tissues. Here we show that the number of adipose ILC1s increases in obese T2D patients and correlates with glycemic parameters and with the number of ILC1s in the blood; circulating ILC1 numbers decrease as a result of metabolic improvements after bariatric surgery. In vitro co-culture experiments show that human adipose ILC1s promote adipose fibrogenesis and CD11c+ macrophage activation. Reconstruction of the adipose ILC1 population in Prkdc−/−IL2rg−/− mice by adoptive transfer drives adipose fibrogenesis through activation of TGFβ1 signaling; however, transfer of Ifng−/− ILC1s has no effect on adipose fibrogenesis. Furthermore, inhibiting adipose accumulation of ILC1s using IL-12 neutralizing antibodies attenuates adipose tissue fibrosis and improves glycemic tolerance. Our data present insights into the mechanisms of local immune disturbances in obesity-related T2D.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3254
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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