Image_1_The Frequencies of Immunosuppressive Cells in Adipose Tissue Differ in Human, Non-human Primate, and Mouse Models.TIF (3.79 MB)
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Image_1_The Frequencies of Immunosuppressive Cells in Adipose Tissue Differ in Human, Non-human Primate, and Mouse Models.TIF

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posted on 2019-02-05, 14:26 authored by Ariane Laparra, Sabine Tricot, Mélanie Le Van, Abderaouf Damouche, Jennifer Gorwood, Bruno Vaslin, Benoit Favier, Stéphane Benoist, Raphael Ho Tsong Fang, Nathalie Bosquet, Roger Le Grand, Catherine Chapon, Olivier Lambotte, Christine Bourgeois

Although the metabolic properties of white adipose tissue have been extensively characterized, the tissue's immune properties are now attracting renewed interest. Early experiments in a mouse model suggested that white adipose tissue contains a high density of regulatory T cells (Tregs), and so it was assumed that all adipose tissue has an immunosuppressive profile—even though the investigation was limited to visceral body fat in relatively old male mice. This observation was also corroborated by high frequencies of other cell subsets with immunoregulatory properties, such as anti-inflammatory M2 macrophages, and regulatory B cells. Many studies have since evidenced the persistence of pathogens (trypanosomes, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, HIV, etc.) in adipose tissue. However, a recent report identified adipose tissue as a reservoir of memory T cells capable of protecting animals upon rechallenge. The immune potential of lean adipose tissue thus remains to be further investigated. Here, we compared the relative proportions of immune cells (and Tregs in particular) in lean adipose tissue collected from humans, a non-human primate (the cynomolgus macaque), and three mouse models. We demonstrated that the proportion of Foxp3+ Tregs in visceral adipose tissue was low in all models other than the C57Bl/6 mouse. These low values were not linked to correspondingly low proportions of effector cells because T lymphocytes (a main target of Treg suppression) were more frequent in cynomolgus macaques than in C57Bl/6 mice and (to a lesser extent) humans. In contrast, the proportions of macrophages and B cells were lower in cynomolgus macaques than in C57Bl/6 mice. We also observed a higher proportion of CD34+CD45- cells (which predominantly correspond to mesenchymal stem cells) in C57Bl/6 mouse and cynomolgus macaques than in humans and both for subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissues. Lastly, a microscopy analysis confirmed predominant proportion of adipocytes within adipose tissue, and highlighted a marked difference in adipocyte size among the three species studied. In conclusion, our study of lean, middle-aged, male individuals showed that the immune compartment of adipose tissue differed markedly in humans vs. mice, and suggesting the presence of a more inflammatory steady-state profile in humans than mice.