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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 5420718, 15 pages
Research Article

Key Role of STAT4 Deficiency in the Hematopoietic Compartment in Insulin Resistance and Adipose Tissue Inflammation

1Department of Physiological Sciences, Strelitz Diabetes Center, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA, USA
2Department of Internal Medicine, Strelitz Diabetes Center, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA, USA
3Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Anca D. Dobrian

Received 12 November 2016; Revised 22 December 2016; Accepted 25 December 2016; Published 16 March 2017

Academic Editor: Dah-Yuu Lu

Copyright © 2017 Anca D. Dobrian 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.


Visceral adipose tissue (AT) inflammation is linked to the complications of obesity, including insulin resistance (IR) and type 2 diabetes. Recent data from our lab showed that germline deficiency in STAT4 reduces inflammation and improves IR in obese mice. The objective of this study was to determine the contribution of selective STAT4 deficiency in subsets of hematopoietic cells to IR and AT inflammation. To determine the contribution of hematopoietic lineage, we sublethally irradiated Stat4−/−C57Bl6 mice and reconstituted them with bone marrow cells (BMC) from Stat4+/+C57Bl6 congenic donors. We also established the contribution of selective STAT4 deficiency in CD4+ or CD8+ T cells using adoptive transfer in Rag1−/− mice. All mice received a HFD for 15 weeks (–12 mice/group). BMC that expressed STAT4 induced increases in glucose intolerance and IR compared to STAT4-deficient cells. Also, AT inflammation was increased and the numbers of CD8+ cells infiltrating AT were higher in mice with STAT4 expressing BMC. Studies in Rag1−/− mice further confirmed the prominent role of CD8+ cells expressing STAT4 in insulin resistance and AT and islet inflammation. Collectively our results show specific and dominant contribution of STAT4 in the hematopoietic compartment to metabolic health and inflammation in diet-induced obesity.