Metabolic dysfunction induced by a high-fat diet modulates hematopoietic stem and myeloid progenitor cells in brown adipose tissue of mice

Kyle T. Mincham, Kunjal Panchal, Prue H. Hart, Robyn M. Lucas, Martin Feelisch, Richard B. Weller, Vance B. Matthews, Deborah H. Strickland, Shelley Gorman*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Brown adipose tissue (BAT) may be an important metabolic regulator of whole-body glucose. While important roles have been ascribed to macrophages in regulating metabolic functions in BAT, little is known of the roles of other immune cells subsets, particularly dendritic cells (DCs). Eating a high-fat diet may compromise the development of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs)—which give rise to DCs—in bone marrow, with less known of its effects in BAT. We have previously demonstrated that ongoing exposure to low-dose ultraviolet radiation (UVR) significantly reduced the ‘whitening’ effect of eating a high-fat diet upon interscapular (i) BAT of mice. Here, we examined whether this observation may be linked to changes in the phenotype of HSPCs and myeloid-derived immune cells in iBAT and bone marrow of mice using 12-colour flow cytometry. Many HSPC subsets declined in both iBAT and bone marrow with increasing metabolic dysfunction. Conversely, with rising adiposity and metabolic dysfunction, conventional DCs (cDCs) increased in both of these tissues. When compared with a low-fat diet, consumption of a high-fat diet significantly reduced proportions of myeloid, common myeloid and megakaryocyte–erythrocyte progenitors in iBAT, and short-term hematopoietic stem cells in bone marrow. In mice fed the high-fat diet, exposure to low-dose UVR significantly reduced proportions of cDCs in iBAT, independently of nitric oxide release from irradiated skin [blocked using the scavenger 2-(4-carboxyphenyl)-4,4,5,5-tetramethylimidazoline-1-oxyl-3-oxide potassium salt (cPTIO)], but did not significantly modify HSPC subsets in either tissue. Further studies are needed to determine whether changes in these cell populations contribute towards metabolic dysfunction.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)749-766
    Number of pages18
    JournalImmunology and Cell Biology
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


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