Image_1_Cytokine Output of Adipocyte-iNKT Cell Interplay Is Skewed by a Lipid-Rich Microenvironment.TIF (1.24 MB)

Image_1_Cytokine Output of Adipocyte-iNKT Cell Interplay Is Skewed by a Lipid-Rich Microenvironment.TIF

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posted on 31.07.2020, 11:45 by Robert J. van Eijkeren, Imogen Morris, Anouska Borgman, Angela Markovska, Eric Kalkhoven

The complex direct and indirect interplay between adipocytes and various adipose tissue (AT)-resident immune cells plays an important role in maintaining local and whole-body insulin sensitivity. Adipocytes can directly interact with and activate AT-resident invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells through CD1d-dependent presentation of lipid antigens, which is associated with anti-inflammatory cytokine production in lean AT (IL-4, IL-10). Whether alterations in the microenvironment, i.e., increased free fatty acids concentrations or altered cytokine/adipokine profiles as observed in obesity, directly affect adipocyte-iNKT cell communication and subsequent cytokine output is currently unknown. Here we show that the cytokine output of adipocyte-iNKT cell interplay is skewed by a lipid-rich microenvironment. Incubation of mature 3T3-L1 adipocytes with a mixture of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids specifically reduced insulin sensitivity and increased lipolysis. Reduced activation of the CD1d-invariant T-Cell Receptor (TCR) signaling axis was observed in Jurkat reporter cells expressing the invariant NKT TCR, while co-culture assays with a iNKT hybridoma cell line (DN32.D3) skewed the cytokine output toward reduced IL-4 secretion and increased IFNγ secretion. Importantly, co-culture assays of mature 3T3-L1 adipocytes with primary iNKT cells isolated from visceral AT showed a similar shift in cytokine output. Collectively, these data indicate that iNKT cells display considerable plasticity with respect to their cytokine output, which can be skewed toward a more pro-inflammatory profile in vitro by microenvironmental factors like fatty acids.

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