CD40L deficiency attenuates diet-induced adipose tissue inflammation by impairing immune cell accumulation and production of pathogenic IgG-antibodies

Dennis Wolf, Felix Jehle, Alexandra Ortiz Rodriguez, Bianca Dufner, Natalie Hoppe, Christian Colberg, Andrey Lozhkin, Nicole Bassler, Benjamin Rupprecht, Ansgar Wiedemann, Ingo Hilgendorf, Peter Stachon, Florian Willecke, Mark Febbraio, Christoph J. Binder, Christoph Bode, Andreas Zirlik, Karlheinz Peter

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34 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Adipose tissue inflammation fuels the metabolic syndrome. We recently reported that CD40L - an established marker and mediator of cardiovascular disease - induces inflammatory cytokine production in adipose cells in vitro. Here, we tested the hypothesis that CD40L deficiency modulates adipose tissue inflammation in vivo. Methodology/Principal Findings: WT or CD40L -/- mice consumed a high fat diet (HFD) for 20 weeks. Inflammatory cell recruitment was impaired in mice lacking CD40L as shown by a decrease of adipose tissue macrophages, B-cells, and an increase in protective T-regulatory cells. Mechanistically, CD40L-deficient mice expressed significantly lower levels of the pro-inflammatory chemokine MCP-1 both, locally in adipose tissue and systemically in plasma. Moreover, levels of pro-inflammatory IgG-antibodies against oxidized lipids were reduced in CD40L -/- mice. Also, circulating low-density lipoproteins and insulin levels were lower in CD40L -/- mice. However, CD40L -/- mice consuming HFD were not protected from the onset of diet-induced obesity (DIO), insulin resistance, and hepatic steatosis, suggesting that CD40L selectively limits the inflammatory features of diet-induced obesity rather than its metabolic phenotype. Interestingly, CD40L -/- mice consuming a low fat diet (LFD) showed both, a favorable inflammatory and metabolic phenotype characterized by diminished weight gain, improved insulin tolerance, and attenuated plasma adipokine levels. Conclusion: We present the novel finding that CD40L deficiency limits adipose tissue inflammation in vivo. These findings identify CD40L as a potential mediator at the interface of cardiovascular and metabolic disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere33026
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes

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