A team of researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Immunobiology and Epigenetics, working with colleagues from Washington University School of Medicine, Medical University of Vienna, Van Andel Research Institute, and the US Department of Agriculture, found that fatty tissue surrounding the intestinal tracts of mice helps flush out intestinal worms. . Their paper was published in the journal Immunology.
Previous research has shown that mesenteric adipose tissue aids blood clotting immune system in response to pathogens and certain types of cancer. In this new effort, researchers have found that it also helps combat Parasitic infections.
The work began when researchers inadvertently noticed that mesenteric adipose tissue (adipose tissue that surrounds Intestinal tract) hardened when a mouse was infected with parasitic worms, a type of worm. The team noted that this hardening helped expel the worms.
Taking a closer look at how fat tissue recognizes and responds to parasitic infection, the researchers found that a type of T cell found in such tissue, called Th2, communicates with stromal cells, which play a role in differentiating cells that grow into different types of skeletal support cells. Then they made Flow cytometryand histology, cell culture, and single-cell RNA sequencing on adipose tissue to learn more about how it stiffens in response to infection.
They discovered that Th2 cells infiltrated fat tissue even though the parasite did not infect such tissues. They also found that Th2 cells released both Amphiregulin and the cytokine TGFβ. In addition, stromal cells became more active in the presence of Amphiregulin and the cytokine TGFβ and thus produced more cytokines. Finally, they found that stromal cells and Th2 cells were uniting into the interstitial spaces of fat tissue, forcing them to proliferate and secrete collagen, resulting in tissue stiffness.
The researchers also found that the sclerosis persisted for up to a year before the tissue returned to normal, rather than developing into fibrosis. This allowed the mice to respond more quickly to the secondary infection.
Agnieszka M. Kabat et al, Resident TH 2 cells coordinate adipose tissue remodeling at a site adjacent to infection, Immunology (2022). DOI: 10.1126 / sciimmunol.add3263
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