Objective: Natural killer (NK) cells are understudied in the context of metabolic disease and obesity. The goal of this study was to define the effect of NK cell ablation on systemic inflammation and glucose homeostasis in murine obesity. Methods: A transgenic murine model was used to study the effect of NK cell ablation on systemic inflammation and glucose homeostasis in the context of diet-induced obesity using flow cytometry, QRTPCR, and glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity testing. Results: NK cell ablation achieved a three to fourfold decrease in NK cells but had no effect on T-cell levels in adipose tissues and spleen. NK cell ablation was associated with decreased total macrophage infiltration in intra-abdominal adipose tissue, but macrophage infiltration in subcutaneous adipose tissue and spleen was unaffected. NK cell ablation was associated with modest improvement in insulin sensitivity but had no effect on tissue transcript levels of inflammatory cytokines. Conclusions: NK cells play a role in promoting intra-abdominal adipose tissue macrophage infiltration and systemic insulin resistance in obesity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics