Immune and non-immune functions of adipose tissue leukocytes

W. V. Trim, L. Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Adipose tissue is a complex dynamic organ with whole-body immunometabolic influence. Much of the work into understanding the role of immune cells in adipose tissue has been in the context of obesity. These investigations have also uncovered a range of typical (immune) and non-typical functions exerted by adipose tissue leukocytes. Here we provide an overview of the adipose tissue immune system, including its role as an immune reservoir in the whole-body response to infection and as a site of parasitic and viral infections. We also describe the functional roles of specialized immunological structures found within adipose tissue. However, our main focus is on the recently discovered ‘non-immune’ functions of adipose tissue immune cells, which include the regulation of adipocyte homeostasis, as well as responses to changing nutrient status and body temperature. In doing so, we outline the therapeutic potential of the adipose tissue immune system in health and disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-386
Number of pages16
JournalNature Reviews Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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