Immunomodulatory leptin receptor+ sympathetic perineurial barrier cells protect against obesity by facilitating brown adipose tissue thermogenesis.
Haberman ER., Sarker G., Arús BA., Ziegler KA., Meunier S., Martínez-Sánchez N., Freibergerová E., Yilmaz-Özcan S., Fernández-González I., Zentai C., O'Brien CJO., Grainger DE., Sidarta-Oliveira D., Chakarov S., Raimondi A., Iannacone M., Engelhardt S., López M., Ginhoux F., Domingos AI.
Adipose tissues (ATs) are innervated by sympathetic nerves, which drive reduction of fat mass via lipolysis and thermogenesis. Here, we report a population of immunomodulatory leptin receptor-positive (LepR+) sympathetic perineurial barrier cells (SPCs) present in mice and humans, which uniquely co-express Lepr and interleukin-33 (Il33) and ensheath AT sympathetic axon bundles. Brown ATs (BATs) of mice lacking IL-33 in SPCs (SPCΔIl33) had fewer regulatory T (Treg) cells and eosinophils, resulting in increased BAT inflammation. SPCΔIl33 mice were more susceptible to diet-induced obesity, independently of food intake. Furthermore, SPCΔIl33 mice had impaired adaptive thermogenesis and were unresponsive to leptin-induced rescue of metabolic adaptation. We therefore identify LepR+ SPCs as a source of IL-33, which orchestrate an anti-inflammatory BAT environment, preserving sympathetic-mediated thermogenesis and body weight homeostasis. LepR+IL-33+ SPCs provide a cellular link between leptin and immune regulation of body weight, unifying neuroendocrinology and immunometabolism as previously disconnected fields of obesity research.