Blocking CD40-TRAF6 interactions by small-molecule inhibitor 6860766 ameliorates the complications of diet-induced obesity in mice

S. M. van den Berg, T. T. P. Seijkens, P. J. H. Kusters, B. Zarzycka, L. Beckers, M. den Toom, M. J. J. Gijbels, A. Chatzigeorgiou, C. Weber, M. P. J. de Winther, T. Chavakis, G. A. F. Nicolaes, E. Lutgens*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

42 Citations (Web of Science)


BACKGROUND: Immune processes contribute to the development of obesity and its complications, such as insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. Approaches that target the inflammatory response are promising therapeutic strategies for obesity. In this context, we recently demonstrated that the interaction between the costimulatory protein CD40 and its downstream adaptor protein tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6) promotes adipose tissue inflammation, insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis in mice in the course of diet-induced obesity (DIO). METHODS: Here we evaluated the effects of a small-molecule inhibitor (SMI) of the CD40-TRAF6 interaction, SMI 6860766, on the development of obesity and its complications in mice that were subjected to DIO. RESULTS: Treatment with SMI 6860766 did not result in differences in weight gain, but improved glucose tolerance. Moreover, SMI 6860766 treatment reduced the amount of CD45(+) leucocytes in the epididymal adipose tissue by 69%. Especially, the number of adipose tissue CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells, as well as macrophages, was significantly decreased. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that small-molecule-mediated inhibition of the CD40-TRAF6 interaction is a promising therapeutic strategy for the treatment of metabolic complications of obesity by improving glucose tolerance, by reducing the accumulation of immune cells to the adipose tissue and by skewing of the immune response towards a more anti-inflammatory profile.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)782-790
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2015

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