Emerging evidence suggests that immunological mechanisms underlie metabolic control of adipose tissue. Here, we have shown the regulatory impact of a rare subpopulation of dendritic cells, rich in perforin-containing granules (perf-DCs). Using bone marrow transplantation to generate animals selectively lacking perf-DCs, we found that these chimeras progressively gained weight and exhibited features of metabolic syndrome. This phenotype was associated with an altered repertoire of T cells residing in adipose tissue and could be completely prevented by T cell depletion in vivo. A similar impact of perf-DCs on inflammatory T cells was also found in a well-defined model of multiple sclerosis, experimental autoimmune encephlalomyelitis (EAE). Thus, perf-DCs probably represent a regulatory cell subpopulation critical for protection from metabolic syndrome and autoimmunity.