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Science 332 (6026): 243-247

Copyright © 2011 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Eosinophils Sustain Adipose Alternatively Activated Macrophages Associated with Glucose Homeostasis

Davina Wu,1 Ari B. Molofsky,2 Hong-Erh Liang,1 Roberto R. Ricardo-Gonzalez,3 Hani A. Jouihan,3 Jennifer K. Bando,1 Ajay Chawla,4 Richard M. Locksley1,5,6,*

Abstract: Eosinophils are associated with helminth immunity and allergy, often in conjunction with alternatively activated macrophages (AAMs). Adipose tissue AAMs are necessary to maintain glucose homeostasis and are induced by the cytokine interleukin-4 (IL-4). Here, we show that eosinophils are the major IL-4–expressing cells in white adipose tissues of mice, and, in their absence, AAMs are greatly attenuated. Eosinophils migrate into adipose tissue by an integrin-dependent process and reconstitute AAMs through an IL-4– or IL-13–dependent process. Mice fed a high-fat diet develop increased body fat, impaired glucose tolerance, and insulin resistance in the absence of eosinophils, and helminth-induced adipose tissue eosinophilia enhances glucose tolerance. Our results suggest that eosinophils play an unexpected role in metabolic homeostasis through maintenance of adipose AAMs.

1 Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143–0795, USA.
2 Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.
3 Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Gerontology, Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305–5103, USA.
4 Cardiovascular Research Institute and Departments of Physiology and Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94107, USA.
5 Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.
6 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: locksley{at}

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