Brown adipose tissue harbors a distinct sub-population of regulatory T cells

Dasa Medrikova, Tjeerd P. Sijmonsma, Katharina Sowodniok, David M. Richards, Michael Delacher, Carsten Sticht, Norbert Gretz, Tobias Schafmeier, Markus Feuerer, Stephan Herzig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Regulatory T (T reg) cells are critical determinants of both immune responses and metabolic control. Here we show that systemic ablation of Treg cells compromised the adaptation of whole-body energy expenditure to cold exposure, correlating with impairment in thermogenic marker gene expression and massive invasion of pro-inflammatory macrophages in brown adipose tissue (BAT). Indeed, BAT harbored a unique sub-set of Treg cells characterized by a unique gene signature. As these Treg cells respond to BAT activation upon cold exposure, this study defines a BAT-specific Treg sub-set with direct implications for the regulation of energy homeostasis in response to environmental stress.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0118534
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number2
StatePublished - 25 Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes


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