Adiponectin is a pleiotropic cytokine with diverse immunomodulatory effects on macrophages and lymphocytes. In the current paradigm, lymphocytes and macrophages respond to adiponectin that is produced by adipocytes and other parenchymal cells. Using a model of chronic arterial inflammation in cardiac transplants, we found that T cells derived from the recipient migrate to the heart and produce adiponectin locally. The evidence that T cells produce significant amounts of adiponectin is based on 3 experimental approaches. First, CD4+ T cells isolated from the blood and spleen after cardiac transplantation express mRNA for adiponectin. Second, reconstitution of T cell–deficient recipients with transgenic CD4+ T cells that express receptors for donor antigens results in arterial infiltrates containing T cells and increased mRNA expression for adiponectin in cardiac transplants. Third, CD4+ T cells isolated from the allograft secrete adiponectin in vitro. Taken together, these data indicate that adiponectin-competent cells originating in the recipient migrate into the transplant. Establishing T cells as a source of adiponectin provides a new dimension, to our knowledge, to the modulatory effects of adiponectin on immune responses.
Sreedevi Danturti, Karen S. Keslar, Leah R. Steinhoff, Ran Fan, Nina Dvorina, Anna Valujskikh, Robert L. Fairchild, William M. Baldwin III