Adipose tissue (AT) inflammation during obesity is mediated by immune cells and closely correlates with systemic insulin resistance. In lean AT, eosinophils are present in low but significant numbers and capable of promoting alternative macrophage activation in an IL-4/IL-13-dependent manner. In WT mice, obesity causes the proportion of AT eosinophils to decline, concomitant with inflammation and classical activation of AT macrophages. In this study, we show that CCR2 deficiency leads to increased eosinophil accumulation in AT. Furthermore, in contrast to WT mice, the increase in eosinophils in CCR2(-/-) AT is sustained and even amplified during obesity. Interestingly, a significant portion of eosinophils is found in CLSs in AT of obese CCR2(-/-) mice, which is the first time eosinophils have been shown to localize to these inflammatory hot spots. CCR2(-/-) bone marrow precursors displayed increased expression of various key eosinophil genes during in vitro differentiation to eosinophils, suggesting a potentially altered eosinophil phenotype in the absence of CCR2. In addition, the proportion of eosinophils in AT positively correlated with local expression of Il5, a potent eosinophil stimulator. The increase in eosinophils in CCR2(-/-) mice was detected in all white fat pads analyzed and in the peritoneal cavity but not in bone marrow, blood, spleen, or liver. In AT of CCR2(-/-) mice, an increased eosinophil number positively correlated with M2-like macrophages, expression of the Treg marker Foxp3, and type 2 cytokines, Il4, Il5, and Il13. This is the first study to link CCR2 function with regulation of AT eosinophil accumulation.
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