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Keywords:

  • macrophage;
  • obesity;
  • regulatory oligodeoxynucleotide;
  • T-cell differentiation;
  • type-2 diabetes

Abstract

T lymphocytes exhibit pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory activities in obesity and diabetes, depending on their subtypes. Guanidine-rich immunosuppressive oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) effectively control Th1/Th2-cell counterbalance. This study reveals a non-toxic regulatory ODN (ODNR01) that inhibits Th1- and Th17-cell polarization by binding to STAT1/3/4 and blocking their phosphorylation without affecting Th2 and regulatory T cells. ODNR01 improves glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in both diet-induced obese (DIO) and genetically generated obese (ob/ob) mice. Mechanistic studies show that ODNR01 suppresses Th1- and Th17-cell differentiation in white adipose tissue, thereby reducing macrophage accumulation and M1 macrophage inflammatory molecule expression without affecting M2 macrophages. While ODNR01 shows no effect on diabetes in lymphocyte-free Rag1-deficient DIO mice, it enhances glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in CD4+ T-cell-reconstituted Rag1-deficient DIO mice, suggesting its beneficial effect on insulin resistance is T-cell-dependent. Therefore, regulatory ODNR01 reduces obesity-associated insulin resistance through modulation of T-cell differentiation.