Type I interferon responses drive intrahepatic T cells to promote metabolic syndrome

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Science Immunology  21 Apr 2017:
Vol. 2, Issue 10, eaai7616
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aai7616

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Liver T cells—The missing link in obesity-associated diabetes

Obesity is associated with increased risk of developing a range of disorders including cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. In obese individuals, accumulation of fat in the liver, termed nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), has been linked to the development of insulin resistance. Ghazarian et al. report that type I interferon–driven activation of CD8+ T cells in the liver correlates with insulin resistance in patients with NAFLD and in mouse models of obesity. Furthermore, the authors found that gut microbiome plays an important role in driving inflammation in the livers of obese mice. Their studies add to the growing recognition of the immune axis in metabolic disorders associated with obesity.