Loss of cAMP signaling in CD11c immune cells protects against diet-induced obesity
In obesity, CD11c+ innate immune cells are recruited to adipose tissue and create an inflammatory state that causes both insulin and catecholamine resistance. We found that ablation of Gnas, the gene that encodes Gas, in CD11c expressing cells protects mice from obesity, glucose intolerance, and insulin resistance. Transplantation studies showed that the lean phenotype was conferred by bone marrow-derived cells and did not require adaptive immunity. Loss of cAMP signaling was associated with increased adipose tissue norepinephrine and cAMP signaling, and prevention of catecholamine resistance. The adipose tissue had reduced expression of catecholamine transport and degradation enzymes suggesting that the elevated norepinephrine resulted from decreased catabolism. Collectively, our results identified an important role for cAMP signaling in CD11c+ innate immune cells in whole-body metabolism by controlling norepinephrine levels in WAT, modulating catecholamine-induced lipolysis, and increasing thermogenesis, which together created a lean phenotype.