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Front. Physiol. | doi: 10.3389/fphys.2018.00136

Depletion of Regulatory T Cells in Visceral Adipose Tissues Contributes to Insulin Resistance in Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Min Yang1,  Li Su2, Qin Tao1, Chenxi Zhang2, Yueyue Wu1 and Jun Liu1*
  • 1Department of Endocrinology, the Fifth People's Hospital of Shanghai, Fudan University, China
  • 2School of Pharmacy, Second Military Medical University, China

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (HT) is a common organ-specific autoimmune disorder associated with a high incidence, and insulin resistance is highly related to autoimmune. Here, we examined the insulin sensitivity in HT patients and found decreased insulin sensitivity occurred in HT patients. To explore the relationship between impaired insulin sensitivity and immune status, we established HT model mice which showed similar pathological features and immune features to HT patients. In HT model mice, reinfusion of regulatory T cells (Tregs) from peripheral blood of normal mice could improve insulin sensitivity and decrease the inflammation. Anti-CD25 antibodies blocked beneficial effects from reinfusion of Tregs, but delayed administration of anti-CD25 antibodies could not abolished the effect from Tregs. Delayed administration of anti-CD25 antibodies abolished exogenous Tregs in peripheral blood, but there were increased exogenous Tregs located to visceral adipose tissues (VATs) which modulated the expression of cytokines in VATs. These findings suggest that insulin resistance exists in HT patients and it associates with the decreased Tregs and increased inflammation in the visceral adipose tissues.

Keywords: Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, regulatory T cells, Insulin Resistance, Cytokines, visceral adipose tissues

Received: 06 Dec 2017; Accepted: 12 Feb 2018.

Edited by:

Dechun Feng, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, United States

Reviewed by:

Hua Wang, Anhui Medical University, China
Ying Lu, National Cancer Institute (NIH), United States  

Copyright: © 2018 Yang, Su, Tao, Zhang, Wu and Liu. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Jun Liu, Fudan University, Department of Endocrinology, the Fifth People's Hospital of Shanghai, No. 801 Heqing Road Minhang District, Shanghai, 200240, Shanghai, China,