Table of Contents
ISRN Inflammation
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 139239, 12 pages
Review Article

Adipose Tissue in Obesity-Related Inflammation and Insulin Resistance: Cells, Cytokines, and Chemokines

1Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UMR8199, Lille Pasteur Institute, BP 245, 59019 Lille, France
2University Lille II, 59800 Lille, France

Received 2 September 2013; Accepted 14 November 2013

Academic Editors: J. Niu and F. E. Yull

Copyright © 2013 Kassem Makki et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Adipose tissue is a complex organ that comprises a wide range of cell types with diverse energy storage, metabolic regulation, and neuroendocrine and immune functions. Because it contains various immune cells, either adaptive (B and T lymphocytes; such as regulatory T cells) or innate (mostly macrophages and, more recently identified, myeloid-derived suppressor cells), the adipose tissue is now considered as a bona fide immune organ, at the cross-road between metabolism and immunity. Adipose tissue disorders, such as those encountered in obesity and lipodystrophy, cause alterations to adipose tissue distribution and function with broad effects on cytokine, chemokine, and hormone expression, on lipid storage, and on the composition of adipose-resident immune cell populations. The resulting changes appear to induce profound consequences for basal systemic inflammation and insulin sensitivity. The purpose of this review is to synthesize the current literature on adipose cell composition remodeling in obesity, which shows how adipose-resident immune cells regulate inflammation and insulin resistance—notably through cytokine and chemokine secretion—and highlights major research questions in the field.