CD40L deficiency ameliorates adipose tissue inflammation and metabolic manifestations of obesity in mice

Marjorie Poggi, David Engel, Anette Christ, Linda Beckers, Erwin Wijnands, Louis Boon, Ann Driessen, Jack Cleutjens, Christian Weber, Norbert Gerdes, Esther Lutgens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE-: Obese adipose tissue shows hallmarks of chronic inflammation, which promotes the development of metabolic disorders. The mechanisms by which immune cells interact with each other or with metabolism-associated cell types, and the players involved, are still unclear. The CD40-CD40L costimulatory dyad plays a pivotal role in immune responses and in diseases such as atherosclerosis and may therefore be a mediator of obesity. Here we investigated whether CD40L is involved in adipose tissue inflammation and its associated metabolic changes. METHODS AND RESULTS-: To assess a putative role of CD40L in obesity in vivo, we evaluated metabolic and inflammatory consequences of 18 weeks of high-fat feeding in CD40L+/+ and CD40L-/- mice. In addition, C57Bl6 mice were injected with neutralizing anti-CD40L (αCD40L) antibody for 12 weeks while being fed a high-fat diet. Genetic deficiency of CD40L attenuated the development of diet-induced obesity, hepatic steatosis, and increased systemic insulin sensitivity. In adipose tissue, it impaired obesity-induced immune cell infiltration and the associated deterioration of glucose and lipid metabolism. Accordingly, αCD40L treatment improved systemic insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance, and CD4+ T-cell infiltration in adipose tissue with limited effects on adipose tissue weight. CONCLUSION-: CD40L plays a crucial role in the development of obesity-induced inflammation and metabolic complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2251-2260
Number of pages10
JournalArteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • immune system
  • insulin resistance
  • leukocytes
  • metabolism
  • obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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