Chronic inflammation in visceral adipose tissue (VAT) precipitates the development of cardiometabolic disorders. Although changes in T cell function associated with visceral obesity are thought to affect chronic VAT inflammation, the specific features of these changes remain elusive. Here, we have determined that a high-fat diet (HFD) caused a preferential increase and accumulation of CD44hiCD62LloCD4+ T cells that constitutively express PD-1 and CD153 in a B cell–dependent manner in VAT. These cells possessed characteristics of cellular senescence and showed a strong activation of Spp1 (encoding osteopontin [OPN]) in VAT. Upon T cell receptor stimulation, these T cells also produced large amounts of OPN in a PD-1–resistant manner in vitro. The features of CD153+PD-1+CD44hiCD4+ T cells were highly reminiscent of senescence-associated CD4+ T cells that normally increase with age. Adoptive transfer of CD153+PD-1+CD44hiCD4+ T cells from HFD-fed WT, but not Spp1-deficient, mice into the VAT of lean mice fed a normal diet recapitulated the essential features of VAT inflammation and insulin resistance. Our results demonstrate that a distinct CD153+PD-1+CD44hiCD4+ T cell population that accumulates in the VAT of HFD-fed obese mice causes VAT inflammation by producing large amounts of OPN. This finding suggests a link between visceral adiposity and immune aging.


Kohsuke Shirakawa, Xiaoxiang Yan, Ken Shinmura, Jin Endo, Masaharu Kataoka, Yoshinori Katsumata, Tsunehisa Yamamoto, Atsushi Anzai, Sarasa Isobe, Naohiro Yoshida, Hiroshi Itoh, Ichiro Manabe, Miho Sekai, Yoko Hamazaki, Keiichi Fukuda, Nagahiro Minato, Motoaki Sano


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