Metabolically Activated Adipose Tissue Macrophages Perform Detrimental and Beneficial Functions during Diet-Induced Obesity Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Biomarkers
  • Ceroid
  • Plaque, Atherosclerotic
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence
  • Spectrum Analysis, Raman


  • During obesity, adipose tissue macrophages (ATMs) adopt a metabolically activated (MMe) phenotype. However, the functions of MMe macrophages are poorly understood. Here, we combine proteomic and functional methods to demonstrate that, in addition to potentiating inflammation, MMe macrophages promote dead adipocyte clearance through lysosomal exocytosis. We identify NADPH oxidase 2 (NOX2) as a driver of the inflammatory and adipocyte-clearing properties of MMe macrophages and show that, compared to wild-type, Nox2(-/-) mice exhibit a time-dependent metabolic phenotype during diet-induced obesity. After 8 weeks of high-fat feeding, Nox2(-/-) mice exhibit attenuated ATM inflammation and mildly improved glucose tolerance. After 16 weeks of high-fat feeding, Nox2(-/-) mice develop severe insulin resistance, hepatosteatosis, and visceral lipoatrophy characterized by dead adipocyte accumulation and defective ATM lysosomal exocytosis, a phenotype reproduced in myeloid cell-specific Nox2(-/-) mice. Collectively, our findings suggest that MMe macrophages perform detrimental and beneficial functions whose contribution to metabolic phenotypes during obesity is determined by disease progression.

publication date

  • September 26, 2017



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC5646237

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.08.096

PubMed ID

  • 28954231

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 3149

end page

  • 3161


  • 20


  • 13