A Novel Anti-inflammatory Role for Spleen-Derived Interleukin-10 in Obesity-Induced Inflammation in White Adipose Tissue and Liver

  1. Hironobu Yoshimatsu
  1. Department of Internal Medicine 1, Faculty of Medicine, Oita University, Hasama, Yufu, Japan
  1. Corresponding author: Koro Gotoh, gotokoro{at}


Obesity is associated with systemic low-grade inflammation and obesity-related metabolic disorders. Considering that obesity decreases the expression of proinflammatory cytokines in the spleen, we assessed the role of interleukin (IL)-10, an anti-inflammatory cytokine produced by the spleen, in the pathogenesis of obesity. Changes in obesity-related pathogenesis, including inflammatory responses in multiple organs, were assessed after systemic administration of exogenous IL-10 to splenectomy (SPX)-treated obese wild-type and IL-10 knockout (IL-10KO) mice. Obesity resulted in the inability of the spleen to synthesize cytokines, including IL-10, and proinflammatory cytokines in obesity are then likely to emerge from tissues other than the spleen because serum levels of IL-10, but not proinflammatory cytokines, decreased despite the expression of these cytokines in the spleen being reduced in high fat–induced obese mice. SPX aggravated the inflammatory response in white adipose tissue (WAT) and the liver and suppressed adiposity in WAT. However, it accentuated adiposity in the liver. These SPX-induced changes were inhibited by systemic administration of IL-10. Moreover, SPX had little effect on the inflammatory responses in WAT and the liver of IL-10KO mice. These data show the role of spleen-derived IL-10 in diet-induced changes as a result of inflammatory responses in WAT and the liver.


  • Received December 8, 2011.
  • Accepted March 11, 2012.

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