The complex immunological and inflammatory network of adipose tissue in obesity

Vasso Apostolopoulos, Maximilian P.J. de Courten, Lily Stojanovska, Gregory L. Blatch, Kathy Tangalakis, Barbora de Courten

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

142 Citations (Scopus)


A number of approaches have been utilized in the prevention, management, and treatment of obesity, including, surgery, medication, diet, exercise, and overall lifestyle changes. Despite these interventions, the prevalence of obesity and the various disorders related to it is growing. In obesity, there is a constant state of chronic low-grade inflammation which is characterized by activation and infiltration of pro-inflammatory immune cells and a dysregulated production of high levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. This pro-inflammatory milieu contributes to insulin resistance, type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other related co-morbidities. The roles of the innate (macrophages, neutrophils, eosinophils, mast cells, NK cells, MAIT cells) and the adaptive (CD4 T cells, CD8 T cells, regulatory T cells, and B cells) immune responses and the roles of adipokines and cytokines in adipose tissue inflammation and obesity are discussed. An understanding of the crosstalk between the immune system and adipocytes may shed light in better treatment modalities for obesity and obesity-related diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-57
Number of pages15
JournalMolecular Nutrition and Food Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Immune cells
  • Inflammation
  • Obesity
  • Weight gain
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science


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