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Science 332 (6026): 186-187

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

Eosinophils Forestall Obesity

Rick M. Maizels, and Judith E. Allen

Most human body fat is stored in adipose tissue, and under healthy conditions, it provides a balanced exchange of triglycerides in response to energy demands. But adipose tissue is also the cardinal locus of the metabolic syndrome, whose hallmarks include the accumulation of abdominal fat and insulin resistance, with cardiovascular consequences. Adipose tissue is dynamically linked with the immune system; indeed, the activity of macrophage cells has a key role in progression to obesity (14). On page 243 of this issue, Wu et al. (5) show that eosinophils, an immune cell typically associated with allergy and worm infection, regulate the macrophage activation state in mammalian adipose tissue and may have an important role in metabolic homeostasis.

Centre for Immunity, Infection and Evolution and the Institute for Immunology and Infection Research, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH9 3JT, UK.

E-mail: r.maizels{at}

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