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Interferon beta overexpression attenuates adipose tissue inflammation and high-fat diet-induced obesity and maintains glucose homeostasis


The worldwide prevalence of obesity is increasing, raising health concerns regarding obesity-related complications. Chronic inflammation has been characterized as a major contributor to the development of obesity and obesity-associated metabolic disorders. The purpose of the current study is to assess whether the overexpression of interferon beta (IFNβ1), an immune-modulating cytokine, will attenuate high-fat diet-induced adipose inflammation and protect animals against obesity development. Using hydrodynamic gene transfer to elevate and sustain blood concentration of IFNβ1 in mice fed a high-fat diet, we showed that the overexpression of Ifnβ1 gene markedly suppressed immune cell infiltration into adipose tissue, and attenuated production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Systemically, IFNβ1 blocked adipose tissue expansion and body weight gain, independent of food intake. Possible browning of white adipose tissue might also contribute to blockade of weight gain. More importantly, IFNβ1 improved insulin sensitivity and glucose homeostasis. These results suggest that targeting inflammation represents a practical strategy to block the development of obesity and its related pathologies. In addition, IFNβ1-based therapies have promising potential for clinical applications for the prevention and treatment of various inflammation-driven pathologies.

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We thank Dr. Megan Morgan for proofreading the manuscript. The study was supported in part by grant from NIH (RO1HL098295).

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Correspondence to D Liu.

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Alsaggar, M., Mills, M. & Liu, D. Interferon beta overexpression attenuates adipose tissue inflammation and high-fat diet-induced obesity and maintains glucose homeostasis. Gene Ther 24, 60–66 (2017).

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