INKT cells prevent obesity-induced hepatic steatosis in mice in a C-C chemokine receptor 7-dependent manner

H. M. Kim, B. R. Lee, E. S. Lee, M. H. Kwon, J. H. Huh, B. E. Kwon, E. K. Park, S. Y. Chang, M. N. Kweon, P. H. Kim, H. J. Ko, C. H. Chung

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis are characterized by an increase in hepatic triglyceride content with infiltration of immune cells, which can cause steatohepatitis and hepatic insulin resistance. C-C chemokine receptor 7 (CCR7) is primarily expressed in immune cells, and CCR7 deficiency leads to the development of multi-organ autoimmunity, chronic renal disease and autoimmune diabetes. Here, we investigated the effect of CCR7 on hepatic steatosis in a mouse model and its underlying mechanism. Our results demonstrated that body and liver weights were higher in the CCR7 '/' mice than in the wild-type (WT) mice when they were fed a high-fat diet. Further, glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity were markedly diminished in CCR7 '/' mice. The number of invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells was reduced in the livers of the CCR7 '/' mice. Moreover, liver inflammation was detected in obese CCR7 '/' mice, which was ameliorated by the adoptive transfer of hepatic mononuclear cells from WT mice, but not through the transfer of hepatic mononuclear cells from CD1d '/' or interleukin-10-deficient (IL-10 '/') mice. Overall, these results suggest that CCR7 + mononuclear cells in the liver could regulate obesity-induced hepatic steatosis via induction of IL-10-expressing iNKT cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-279
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Feb 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Dr Martin Lipp from Max Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine for CCR7−/− mice. This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (NRF-2017R1A2B2001963, NRF-2016R1A4A1010115 and NRF-2016R1A6A3A11932829). This study was also supported by a grant from the Korean Health Technology R&D Project, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (HI15C0450). This study was supported by 2015 Research Grant from Kangwon National University (No. 520150291).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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