The appreciation of metabolic regulation of T-cell function has exploded over the past decade, as has our understanding of how inflammation fuels comorbidities of obesity, including type 2 diabetes. The likelihood that obesity fundamentally alters T-cell metabolism and thus chronic obesity-associated inflammation is high, but studies testing causal relationships remain underrepresented. We searched PubMed for key words including mitochondria, obesity, T cell, type 2 diabetes, cristae, fission, fusion, redox, and reactive oxygen species to identify foundational and more recent studies that address these topics or cite foundational work. We investigated primary papers cited by reviews found in these searches and highlighted recent work with >100 citations to illustrate the state of the art in understanding mechanisms that control metabolism and thus function of various T-cell subsets in obesity. However, "popularity"of a paper over the first 5 years after publication cannot assess long-term impact; thus, some likely important work with fewer citations is also highlighted. We feature studies of human cells, supplementing with studies from animal models that suggest future directions for human cell research. This approach identified gaps in the literature that will need to be filled before we can estimate efficacy of mitochondria-targeted drugs in clinical trials to alleviate pathogenesis of obesity-associated inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberbqac124
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Endocrine Society. All rights reserved.


  • human
  • mitochondria
  • prediabetes
  • type 2 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


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