Bing Liu 1 , 2 , 3 , Hengchi Yu 1 , 2 , 3 , Guangyong Sun 2 , 3 , 4 , Xiaojing Sun 2 , 3 , 4 , Hua Jin 2 , 3 , 4 , Chunpan Zhang 2 , 3 , 4 , Wen Shi 2 , 3 , 4 , Dan Tian 2 , 3 , 4 , Kai Liu 2 , 3 , 4 , Hufeng Xu 2 , 3 , 4 , Xinmin Li 2 , 3 , 4 , Jie Yin 1 , Xu Hong 5 , Dong Zhang 6 , 7 , 8
Adaptive immunity plays a critical role in IR and T2DM development; however, the biological mechanisms linking T cell costimulation and glucose metabolism have not been fully elucidated. In this study, we demonstrated that the costimulatory molecule OX40 controls T cell activation and IR development. Inflammatory cell accumulation and enhanced proinflammatory gene expression, as well as high OX40 expression levels on CD4+ T cells, were observed in the adipose tissues of mice with diet-induced obesity. OX40-KO mice exhibited significantly less weight gain and lower fasting glucose levels than those of WT mice, without obvious adipose tissue inflammation. The effects of OX40 on IR are mechanistically linked to the promotion of T cell activation, Th1 cell differentiation and proliferation-as well as the attenuation of Treg suppressive activity and the enhancement of proinflammatory cytokine production-in adipose tissues. Furthermore, OX40 expression on T cells was positively associated with obesity in humans, suggesting that our findings are clinically relevant. In summary, our study revealed that OX40 in CD4+ T cells is crucial for adipose tissue inflammation and IR development. Therefore, the OX40 signaling pathway may be a new target for preventing or treating obesity-related IR and T2DM.