Immunological Impact of Intestinal T Cells on Metabolic Diseases

Haiyan Zhou, Liwen Wang, Feng Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Emerging evidence accumulated over the past several years has uncovered intestinal CD4+ T cells as an essential mediator in modulating intestinal immunity in health and diseases. It has also been increasingly recognized that dietary and microbiota-derived factors play key roles in shaping the intestinal CD4+ T-cell compartment. This review aims to discuss the current understanding on how the intestinal T cell immune responses are disturbed by obesity and metabolic stress. In addition, we review how these changes influence systemic metabolic homeostasis and the T-cell-mediated crosstalk between gut and liver or brain in the progression of obesity and its related diseases. Lastly, we highlight the potential roles of some drugs that target intestinal T cells as a therapeutic treatment for metabolic diseases. A better understanding of the interaction among metabolites, bacterial signals, and T cell immune responses in the gut and their roles in systemic inflammation in metabolic tissues should shed new light on the development of effective treatment of obesity and related disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number639902
JournalFrontiers in immunology
StatePublished - Feb 18 2021


  • T cells
  • dietary signals
  • intestine
  • microbiota
  • obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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