Male bovine GH transgenic mice have decreased adiposity with an adipose depot-specific increase in immune cell populations.

PMID 25521584


White adipose tissue (WAT) is composed of mature adipocytes and a stromal vascular fraction (SVF), which contains a variety of cells, including immune cells that vary among the different WAT depots. Growth hormone (GH) impacts immune function and adiposity in an adipose depot-specific manner. However, its effects on WAT immune cell populations remain unstudied. Bovine GH transgenic (bGH) mice are commonly used to study the in vivo effects of GH. These giant mice have an excess of GH action, impaired glucose metabolism, decreased adiposity, increased lean mass, and a shortened lifespan. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to characterize the WAT depot-specific differences in immune cell populations in the presence of excess GH in vivo. Three WAT depots were assessed: inguinal (sc), epididymal (EPI), and mesenteric (MES). Subcutaneous and MES bGH WAT depots showed a significantly higher number of total SVF cells, yet only MES bGH WAT had higher leukocyte counts compared with control samples. By means of flow cytometry analysis of the SVF, we detected greater macrophage and regulatory T-cell infiltration in sc and MES bGH WAT depots compared with controls. However, no differences were observed in the EPI WAT depot. RNA-sequencing confirmed significant alterations in pathways related to T-cell infiltration and activation in the sc depot with fewer significant changes in the EPI bGH WAT depot. These findings collectively point to a previously unrecognized role for GH in influencing the distribution of WAT immune cell populations in a depot-specific manner.