Chronic inflammation in visceral adipose tissue (VAT) precipitates the development of cardiometabolic disorders. Although changes in T cell function associated with visceral obesity are thought to affect chronic VAT inflammation, the specific features of these changes remain elusive. Here, we have determined that a high-fat diet (HFD) caused a preferential increase and accumulation of CD44hiCD62LloCD4+ T cells that constitutively express PD-1 and CD153 in a B cell-dependent manner in VAT. These cells possessed characteristics of cellular senescence and showed a strong activation of Spp1 (encoding osteopontin [OPN]) in VAT. Upon T cell receptor stimulation, these T cells also produced large amounts of OPN in a PD-1-resistant manner in vitro. The features of CD153+PD-1+CD44hiCD4+ T cells were highly reminiscent of senescence-associated CD4+ T cells that normally increase with age. Adoptive transfer of CD153+PD-1+CD44hiCD4+ T cells from HFD-fed WT, but not Spp1-deficient, mice into the VAT of lean mice fed a normal diet recapitulated the essential features of VAT inflammation and insulin resistance. Our results demonstrate that a distinct CD153+PD-1+CD44hiCD4+ T cell population that accumulates in the VAT of HFD-fed obese mice causes VAT inflammation by producing large amounts of OPN. This finding suggests a link between visceral adiposity and immune aging.
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