Visceral adipose tissue (VAT) has multiple roles in orchestrating whole-body energy homeostasis. In addition, VAT is now considered an immune site harboring an array of innate and adaptive immune cells with a direct role in immune surveillance and host defense. We report that conventional dendritic cells (cDCs) in VAT acquire a tolerogenic phenotype through upregulation of pathways involved in adipocyte differentiation. While activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway in cDC1 DCs induces IL-10 production, upregulation of the PPARγ pathway in cDC2 DCs directly suppresses their activation. Combined, they promote an anti-inflammatory milieu in vivo delaying the onset of obesity-induced chronic inflammation and insulin resistance. Under long-term over-nutrition, changes in adipocyte biology curtail β-catenin and PPARγ activation, contributing to VAT inflammation.
T cell antigen-presenting cell (APC) interactions early during chronic viral infection are crucial for determining viral set point and disease outcome, but how and when different APC subtypes contribute to these outcomes is unclear. The TNF receptor superfamily (TNFRSF) member GITR is important for CD4+ T cell accumulation and control of chronic lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV). We found that type I interferon (IFN-I) induced TNFSF ligands GITRL, 4-1BBL, OX40L, and CD70 predominantly on monocyte-derived APCs and CD80 and CD86 predominantly on classical dendritic cells (cDCs). Mice with hypofunctional GITRL in Lyz2+ cells had decreased LCMV-specific CD4+ T cell accumulation and increased viral load. GITR signals in CD4+ T cells occurred after priming to upregulate OX40, CD25, and chemokine receptor CX3CR1. Thus IFN-I (signal 3) induced a post-priming checkpoint (signal 4) for CD4+ T cell accumulation, revealing a division of labor between cDCs and monocyte-derived APCs in regulating T cell expansion.
Alveolar macrophages (AMs) derive from fetal liver monocytes, which colonize the lung during embryonic development and give rise to fully mature AMs perinatally. AM differentiation requires granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), but whether additional factors are involved in AM regulation is not known. Here we report that AMs, in contrast to most other tissue macrophages, were also dependent on transforming growth factor-β receptor (TGF-βR) signaling. Conditional deletion of TGF-βR in mice at different time points halted the development and differentiation of AMs. In adult mice, TGF-β was also critical for AM homeostasis. The source of TGF-β was AMs themselves, indicative of an autocrine loop that promotes AM self-maintenance. Mechanistically, TGF-βR signaling resulted in upregulation of PPAR-γ, a signature transcription factor essential for the development of AMs. These findings reveal an additional layer of complexity regarding the guidance cues, which govern the genesis, maturation, and survival of AMs.