The C-C motif chemokine receptor–2 (CCR2) regulates monocyte and macrophage recruitment and is necessary for macrophage-dependent inflammatory responses and the development of atherosclerosis. Although adipose tissue expression and circulating concentrations of CCL2 (also known as MCP1), a high-affinity ligand for CCR2, are elevated in obesity, the role of CCR2 in metabolic disorders, including insulin resistance, hepatic steatosis, and inflammation associated with obesity, has not been studied. To determine what role CCR2 plays in the development of metabolic phenotypes, we studied the effects of Ccr2 genotype on the development of obesity and its associated phenotypes. Genetic deficiency in Ccr2 reduced food intake and attenuated the development of obesity in mice fed a high-fat diet. In obese mice matched for adiposity, Ccr2 deficiency reduced macrophage content and the inflammatory profile of adipose tissue, increased adiponectin expression, ameliorated hepatic steatosis, and improved systemic glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity. In mice with established obesity, short-term treatment with a pharmacological antagonist of CCR2 lowered macrophage content of adipose tissue and improved insulin sensitivity without significantly altering body mass or improving hepatic steatosis. These data suggest that CCR2 influences the development of obesity and associated adipose tissue inflammation and systemic insulin resistance and plays a role in the maintenance of adipose tissue macrophages and insulin resistance once obesity and its metabolic consequences are established.
Stuart P. Weisberg, Deborah Hunter, Reid Huber, Jacob Lemieux, Sarah Slaymaker, Kris Vaddi, Israel Charo, Rudolph L. Leibel, Anthony W. Ferrante Jr.