Innate immune cells in adipose tissue
The immune system in adipose tissue is largely under-appreciated, yet adipose tissue contains an incredibly unique and substantial immune system. Adipose tissue covers much of the body, and can account for 50% of body mass in obesity. Each adipose depot in humans and mice has its own substantial immune system with collectively more lymphocytes than the liver. More surprising is that adipose lymphocytes have unique subsets and functions compared to their counterparts elsewhere in the body. A major component of the adipose immune system is non-MHC restricted ‘unconventional’ T cells which are often less diverse cells including iNKT cells, gd T cells, MAIT cells. We work on understanding the physiological basis for this enrichment of innate and ‘unconventional’ lymphocytes in humans and mice. Our goal is to understand this aspect of immunity, what regulates it, and the full potential it holds.