bims-imicid Biomed News
on Immunometabolism of infection, cancer and immune-mediated disease
Issue of 2022‒07‒17
28 papers selected by
Dylan Ryan
University of Cambridge

  1. Immunity. 2022 Jul 07. pii: S1074-7613(22)00280-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) escaping stressed mitochondria provokes inflammation via cGAS-STING pathway activation and, when oxidized (Ox-mtDNA), it binds cytosolic NLRP3, thereby triggering inflammasome activation. However, it is unknown how and in which form Ox-mtDNA exits stressed mitochondria in non-apoptotic macrophages. We found that diverse NLRP3 inflammasome activators rapidly stimulated uniporter-mediated calcium uptake to open mitochondrial permeability transition pores (mPTP) and trigger VDAC oligomerization. This occurred independently of mtDNA or reactive oxygen species, which induce Ox-mtDNA generation. Within mitochondria, Ox-mtDNA was either repaired by DNA glycosylase OGG1 or cleaved by the endonuclease FEN1 to 500-650 bp fragments that exited mitochondria via mPTP- and VDAC-dependent channels to initiate cytosolic NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Ox-mtDNA fragments also activated cGAS-STING signaling and gave rise to pro-inflammatory extracellular DNA. Understanding this process will advance the development of potential treatments for chronic inflammatory diseases, exemplified by FEN1 inhibitors that suppressed interleukin-1β (IL-1β) production and mtDNA release in mice.
    Keywords:  FEN1; NLRP3 inflammasome; OGG1; Ox-mtDNA; VDAC; cGAS-STING; mPTP; mitochondria; mtDNA
  2. Cell Metab. 2022 Jul 07. pii: S1550-4131(22)00228-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      The tumor microenvironment (TME) is a unique metabolic niche that can inhibit T cell metabolism and cytotoxicity. To dissect the metabolic interplay between tumors and T cells, we establish an in vitro system that recapitulates the metabolic niche of the TME and allows us to define cell-specific metabolism. We identify tumor-derived lactate as an inhibitor of CD8+ T cell cytotoxicity, revealing an unexpected metabolic shunt in the TCA cycle. Metabolically fit cytotoxic T cells shunt succinate out of the TCA cycle to promote autocrine signaling via the succinate receptor (SUCNR1). Cytotoxic T cells are reliant on pyruvate carboxylase (PC) to replenish TCA cycle intermediates. By contrast, lactate reduces PC-mediated anaplerosis. The inhibition of pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) is sufficient to restore PC activity, succinate secretion, and the activation of SUCNR1. These studies identify PDH as a potential drug target to allow CD8+ T cells to retain cytotoxicity and overcome a lactate-enriched TME.
    Keywords:  T cells; cancer metabolism; lactate; pyruvate; succinate; tumor immunity
  3. Elife. 2022 Jul 13. pii: e77457. [Epub ahead of print]11
      Cellular metabolism is a critical regulator of macrophage effector function. Tissue-resident alveolar macrophages (TR-AMs) inhabit a unique niche marked by high oxygen and low glucose. We have recently shown that in contrast to bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs), TR-AMs do not utilize glycolysis and instead predominantly rely on mitochondrial function for their effector response. It is not known how changes in local oxygen concentration that occur during conditions such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) might affect TR-AM metabolism and function; however, ARDS is associated with progressive loss of TR-AMs, which correlates with the severity of disease and mortality. Here, we demonstrate that hypoxia robustly stabilizes HIF-1α in TR-AMs to promote a glycolytic phenotype. Hypoxia altered TR-AM metabolite signatures, cytokine production, and decreased their sensitivity to the inhibition of mitochondrial function. By contrast, hypoxia had minimal effects on BMDM metabolism. The effects of hypoxia on TR-AMs were mimicked by FG-4592, a HIF-1α stabilizer. Treatment with FG-4592 decreased TR-AM death and attenuated acute lung injury in mice. These findings reveal the importance of microenvironment in determining macrophage metabolic phenotype, and highlight the therapeutic potential in targeting cellular metabolism to improve outcomes in diseases characterized by acute inflammation.
    Keywords:  cell biology; immunology; inflammation; mouse
  4. PLoS Pathog. 2022 Jul 14. 18(7): e1010722
      Cytokines induce an anti-viral state, yet many of the functional determinants responsible for limiting viral infection are poorly understood. Here, we find that TNFα induces significant metabolic remodeling that is critical for its anti-viral activity. Our data demonstrate that TNFα activates glycolysis through the induction of hexokinase 2 (HK2), the isoform predominantly expressed in muscle. Further, we show that glycolysis is broadly important for TNFα-mediated anti-viral defense, as its inhibition attenuates TNFα's ability to limit the replication of evolutionarily divergent viruses. TNFα was also found to modulate the metabolism of UDP-sugars, which are essential precursor substrates for glycosylation. Our data indicate that TNFα increases the concentration of UDP-glucose, as well as the glucose-derived labeling of UDP-glucose and UDP-N-acetyl-glucosamine in a glycolytically-dependent manner. Glycolysis was also necessary for the TNFα-mediated accumulation of several glycosylated anti-viral proteins. Consistent with the importance of glucose-driven glycosylation, glycosyl-transferase inhibition attenuated TNFα's ability to promote the anti-viral cell state. Collectively, our data indicate that cytokine-mediated metabolic remodeling is an essential component of the anti-viral response.
  5. Front Aging. 2021 ;2 681428
      Mitochondrial health and cellular metabolism can heavily influence the onset of senescence in T cells. CD8+ EMRA T cells exhibit mitochondrial dysfunction and alterations to oxidative phosphorylation, however, the metabolic properties of senescent CD8+ T cells from people living with type 2 diabetes (T2D) are not known. We show here that mitochondria from T2D CD8+ T cells had a higher oxidative capacity together with increased levels of mitochondrial reactive oxgen species (mtROS), compared to age-matched control cells. While fatty acid uptake was increased, fatty acid oxidation was impaired in T2D CD8+ EMRA T cells, which also showed an accumulation of lipid droplets and decreased AMPK activity. Increasing glucose and fatty acids in healthy CD8+ T cells resulted in increased p-p53 expression and a fragmented mitochondrial morphology, similar to that observed in T2D CD8+ EMRA T cells. The resulting mitochondrial changes are likely to have a profound effect on T cell function. Consequently, a better understanding of these metabolic abnormalities is crucial as metabolic manipulation of these cells may restore correct T cell function and help reduce the impact of T cell dysfunction in T2D.
    Keywords:  T cell; ageing; inflammation; metabolism; mitochondria; senescence; type 2 diabetes
  6. Hepatology. 2022 Jul 11.
      BACKGROUND & AIMS: Natural killer (NK) cells are key players in tumor immunosurveillance and metabolic adaption manipulates their fate and functional state. The nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+ ) has emerged as a vital factor to link cellular metabolism and signaling transduction. Here, we identified NAD+ metabolism as a central hub to determine the homeostasis and function of NK cells.APPROACH & RESULTS: NAD+ level was elevated in activated NK cells. NAD+ supplementation not only enhanced cytokine production and cytotoxicity, but also improved the proliferation and viability of NK cells. Intriguingly, the salvage pathway was involved in maintaining NAD+ homeostasis in activated NK cells. Genetic ablation or pharmacological blockade of nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT), the rate-limiting enzyme in the NAD+ salvage pathway, markedly destroyed the viability and function of NK cells. Mechanistically, NAD+ salvage dictated the mitochondrial homeostasis and oxidative phosphorylation activity to support the optimal function of NK cells. However, in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissues, NAMPT expression and NAD+ level were significantly downregulated in tumor-infiltrating NK cells (TINKs), which negatively correlated with patient survival. And, lactate accumulation in tumor microenvironment was at least partially responsible for the transcriptional repression of NAMPT in NK cells. Further, deficiency of Nampt in NK cells accelerated the growth of HCC and melanoma. Supplementation of NAD+ precursor, nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), significantly improved NK anti-tumor response in both mouse and human cell-derived xenograft.
    CONCLUSIONS: These findings reveal NAD+ salvage as an essential factor for NK cell homeostasis and function, suggesting a potential strategy for invigorating NK cell-based immunotherapy.
  7. Front Immunol. 2022 ;13 937247
      The field of immunology is undergoing rapid and dramatic changes. Immunometabolism, a change in metabolic pathways within immune cells, is a key determinant in the activation of immune cells, and intermediates of immunometabolic processes which can influence inflammatory gene expression and play a role in inflammation. Itaconate is one of the most representative metabolites, produced in the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA cycle), which links macrophage metabolism, oxidative stress response and immune response to regulate macrophage activity, playing an important role in the function of macrophages. In this paper, we review the mechanisms of the metabolite itaconate and its derivatives in the regulation of macrophage immune metabolism, intending to gain further insight into the role and mechanisms of this metabolite in macrophages and provide new ideas for the mechanisms and treatment of clinical diseases.
    Keywords:  immunometabolism; itaconate; macrophages; research progress; tricarboxylic acid cycle
  8. Mol Oncol. 2022 Jul 15.
      In glioblastoma (GBM), tumour-associated microglia/macrophages (TAMs) represent the major cell type of the stromal compartment and contribute to tumour immune escape mechanisms. Thus, targeting TAMs is emerging as a promising strategy for immunotherapy. However, TAM heterogeneity and metabolic adaptation along GBM progression represent critical features for the design of effective TAM-targeted therapies. Here, we comprehensively study the cellular and molecular changes of TAMs in the GL261 GBM mouse model, combining single-cell RNA-sequencing with flow cytometry and immunohistological analyses along GBM progression and in the absence of Acod1 (also known as Irg1), a key gene involved in the metabolic reprogramming of macrophages towards an anti-inflammatory phenotype. Similarly to patients, we identify distinct TAM profiles, mainly based on their ontogeny, that reiterate the idea that microglia- and macrophage-like cells show key transcriptional differences and dynamically adapt along GBM stages. Notably, we uncover decreased antigen-presenting cell features and immune reactivity in TAMs along tumour progression that are instead enhanced in Acod1-deficient mice. Overall, our results provide insight into TAM heterogeneity and highlight a novel role for Acod1 in TAM adaptation during GBM progression.
    Keywords:  ACOD1/IRG1; Glioblastoma; Heterogeneity; Metabolic reprogramming; Single-cell RNA-sequencing; Tumour-associated microglia/macrophages
  9. Cell Rep. 2022 Jul 12. pii: S2211-1247(22)00863-4. [Epub ahead of print]40(2): 111065
      Tissue-resident macrophages (TRMs) are heterogeneous cell populations found throughout the body. Depending on their location, they perform diverse functions maintaining tissue homeostasis and providing immune surveillance. To survive and function within, TRMs adapt metabolically to the distinct microenvironments. However, little is known about the metabolic signatures of TRMs. The thymus provides a nurturing milieu for developing thymocytes yet efficiently removes those that fail the selection, relying on the resident thymic macrophages (TMφs). This study harnesses multiomics analyses to characterize TMφs and unveils their metabolic features. We find that the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) is preferentially activated in TMφs, responding to the reduction-oxidation demands associated with the efferocytosis of dying thymocytes. The blockade of PPP in Mφs leads to decreased efferocytosis, which can be rescued by reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavengers. Our study reveals the key role of the PPP in TMφs and underscores the importance of metabolic adaptation in supporting Mφ efferocytosis.
    Keywords:  CP: Immunology; CP: Metabolism; efferocytosis; metabolic flexibility; pentose phosphate pathway; reduction-oxidation; thymus; tissue-resident macrophage
  10. Front Immunol. 2022 ;13 864638
      Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) immobilize pathogens during early stages of systemic inflammation but as the reaction progresses they become detrimental to endothelial cells and the organ-specific cells. For this reason it would be of importance to control their formation by either physiological or pharmacological means. Endogenously, formation of NETs is under control of cellular and whole organism metabolism as shown previously in the course of bacterial systemic inflammation, obesity or the combination of the two. Numerous leukocytes are subjected to immunometabolic regulation and in macrophages exposure to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) leads to two breaks in the Krebs cycle that impact this cell functioning. As a consequence of the first break, anti-microbial itaconic acid (itaconate) is produced whereas the second break activates hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (Hif-1α). In turn, itaconate activates transcription of the anti-inflammatory nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) which upregulates cyto-protective heme oxygenase (HO-1). Here we report that exogenously added derivative of the itaconic acid, 4-octyl itaconate (4-OI), diminishes formation of NETs by neutrophils of either normal (lean) or obese mice, and independently of the age of the animals or immunoaging. Elucidating the mechanism of this inhibition we unravel that although Nrf2/HO-1 expression itself is not altered by 4-OI, it is up-regulated when compared against the NET formation while Hif-1α is downregulated in 4-OI-pre-treated LPS-stimulated neutrophils in either way. We further show that blockage of Hif-1α by its specific inhibitor diminishes NET release as does inhibition by 4-OI. Also inhibition of HO-1 activity correlates with diminished LPS-induced NET release upon pre-treatment with 4-OI albeit LPS alone induced NETs are not HO-1-dependent. In summary, we unravel that 4-OI inhibits NET formation by murine neutrophils independently of their origin (health vs. metabolically challenged animals) and the age of individuals/immunosenescence via inhibition of Hif-1α and induction of HO-1.
    Keywords:  HO-1; Hif-1α; Nrf2; heme oxygenase; hypoxia-inducible factor; itaconic acid; neutrophils; nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2
  11. Immunohorizons. 2022 Jul 15. 6(7): 447-464
      Patients with STAT1 gain-of-function (GOF) pathogenic variants have enhanced or prolonged STAT1 phosphorylation following cytokine stimulation and exhibit increased yet heterogeneous susceptibility to infections, autoimmunity, and cancer. Although disease phenotypes are diverse and other genetic factors contribute, how STAT1 GOF affects cytokine sensitivity and cell biology remains poorly defined. In this study, we analyzed the immune and immunometabolic profiles of two patients with known pathogenic heterozygous STAT1 GOF mutation variants. A systems immunology approach of peripheral blood cells from these patients revealed major changes in multiple immune cell compartments relative to healthy adult and pediatric donors. Although many phenotypes of STAT1 GOF donors were shared, including increased Th1 cells but decreased class-switched B cells and plasmacytoid dendritic cell populations, others were heterogeneous. Mechanistically, hypersensitivity for cytokine-induced STAT1 phosphorylation in memory T cell populations was particularly evident in response to IL-6 in one STAT1 GOF patient. Immune cell metabolism directly influences cell function, and the STAT1 GOF patients shared an immunometabolic phenotype of heightened glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) and carnitine palmitoyl transferase 1A (CPT1a) expression across multiple immune cell lineages. Interestingly, the metabolic phenotypes of the pediatric STAT1 GOF donors more closely resembled or exceeded those of healthy adult than healthy age-similar pediatric donors, which had low expression of these metabolic markers. These results define new features of STAT1 GOF patients, including a differential hypersensitivity for IL-6 and a shared increase in markers of metabolism in many immune cell types that suggests a role for STAT1 in metabolic regulation of immunity.
  12. Front Mol Neurosci. 2022 ;15 896786
      The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) acts as a metabolic gatekeeper between photoreceptors and the choroidal vasculature to maintain retinal function. RPE dysfunction is a key feature of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in developed countries. Inflammation is a key pathogenic mechanism in AMD and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) has been implicated as a pro-inflammatory cytokine involved in AMD. While mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in AMD pathogenesis, the interplay between inflammation and cellular metabolism remains elusive. The present study explores how the pro-inflammatory cytokine, TNFα, impacts mitochondrial morphology and metabolic function in RPE. Matured human primary RPE (H-RPE) were treated with TNFα (10 ng/ml) for up to 5 days. TNFα-induced upregulation of IL-6 secretion and inflammatory genes (IL-6, IL-8, MCP-1) was accompanied by increased oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and reduced glycolysis, leading to an increase in cellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP) content. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) revealed defects in mitochondrial morphology with engorged mitochondria and loss of cristae integrity following TNFα treatment. Pre-treatment with the anti-inflammatory drug, 80 μM dimethyl fumarate (DMFu), blocked TNFα-induced inflammatory activation of RPE (IL-6, IL-8, MCP-1, CFH, CFB, C3) and normalized their bioenergetic profile to control levels by regulating PFKFB3 and PKM2 gene expression. Furthermore, DMFu prevented TNFα-induced mitochondrial dysfunction and morphological anomalies. Thus, our results indicate that DMFu serves as a novel therapeutic avenue for combating inflammatory activation and metabolic dysfunction of RPE in AMD.
    Keywords:  age-related macular degeneration; glycolysis; inflammation; metabolism; mitochondria; oxidative phosphorylation; retinal pigment epithelium; tumor necrosis factor-alpha
  13. Sci Rep. 2022 Jul 12. 12(1): 11830
      Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is characterized by joint infiltration of immune cells and synovial inflammation which leads to progressive disability. Current treatments improve the disease outcome, but the unmet medical need is still high. New discoveries over the last decade have revealed the major impact of cellular metabolism on immune cell functions. So far, a comprehensive understanding of metabolic changes during disease development, especially in the diseased microenvironment, is still limited. Therefore, we studied the longitudinal metabolic changes during the development of murine arthritis by integrating metabolomics and transcriptomics data. We identified an early change in macrophage pathways which was accompanied by oxidative stress, a drop in NAD+ level and induction of glucose transporters. We discovered inhibition of SIRT1, a NAD-dependent histone deacetylase and confirmed its dysregulation in human macrophages and synovial tissues of RA patients. Mining this database should enable the discovery of novel metabolic targets and therapy opportunities in RA.
  14. Front Aging. 2021 ;2 809539
      Lysosomes were initially recognized as degradation centers that regulate digestion and recycling of cellular waste. More recent studies document that the lysosome is an important signaling hub that regulates cell metabolism. Our knowledge of the role of lysosomes in immunity is mostly derived from innate immune cells, especially lysosomal degradation-specialized cells such as macrophages and dendritic cells. Their function in adaptive immunity is less understood. However, with the recent emphasis on metabolic regulation of T cell differentiation, lysosomes are entering center stage in T cell immunology. In this review, we will focus on the role of lysosomes in adaptive immunity and discuss recent findings on lysosomal regulation of T cell immune responses and lysosomal dysfunction in T cell aging.
    Keywords:  T cell aging; T follicular helper cell; late endosomes; lysosome; mTORC1; memory T cell
  15. Dev Comp Immunol. 2022 Jul 10. pii: S0145-305X(22)00154-9. [Epub ahead of print] 104492
      D-lactic acidosis is a metabolic disease of cattle caused by the digestive overgrowth of bacteria that are highly producers of d-lactate, a metabolite that then reaches and accumulates in the bloodstream. d-lactate is a proinflammatory agent in cattle that induces the formation of extracellular traps (ETs) in polymorphonuclear leucocytes (PMN), although information on PMN metabolic requirements for this response mechanism is insufficient. In the present study, metabolic pathways involved in ET formation induced by d-lactate were studied. We show that d-lactate but not l-lactate induced ET formation in cattle PMN. We analyzed the metabolomic changes induced by d-lactate in bovine PMN using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Several metabolic pathways were altered, including glycolysis/gluconeogenesis, amino sugar and nucleotide sugar metabolism, galactose metabolism, starch and sucrose metabolism, fructose and mannose metabolism, and pentose phosphate pathway. d-lactate increased intracellular levels of glucose and glucose-6-phosphate, and increased uptake of the fluorescent glucose analog 2-NBDG, suggesting improved glycolytic activity. In addition, using an enzymatic assay and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), we observed that d-lactate was able to decrease intracellular glycogen levels and the presence of glycogen granules. Relatedly, d-lactate increased the expression of enzymes of glycolysis, gluconeogenesis and glycogen metabolism. In addition, 2DG (a hexokinase inhibitor), 3PO (a 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-bisphosphatase 3 inhibitor), MB05032 (inhibitor of fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase) and CP-91149 (inhibitor of glycogen phosphorylase) reduced d-lactate-triggered ETosis. Taken together, these results suggest that d-lactate induces a metabolic rewiring that increases glycolysis, gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis, all of which are required for d-lactate-induced ET release in cattle PMN.
    Keywords:  Bovine PMN; Extracellular traps; Glucose metabolism; d-lactate
  16. Metabolomics. 2022 Jul 11. 18(7): 51
      OBJECTIVE: Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, SARS-CoV2 has claimed more than six million lives world-wide, with over 510 million cases to date. To reduce healthcare burden, we must investigate how to prevent non-acute disease from progressing to severe infection requiring hospitalization.METHODS: To achieve this goal, we investigated metabolic signatures of both non-acute (out-patient) and severe (requiring hospitalization) COVID-19 samples by profiling the associated plasma metabolomes of 84 COVID-19 positive University of Virginia hospital patients. We utilized supervised and unsupervised machine learning and metabolic modeling approaches to identify key metabolic drivers that are predictive of COVID-19 disease severity. Using metabolic pathway enrichment analysis, we explored potential metabolic mechanisms that link these markers to disease progression.
    RESULTS: Enriched metabolites associated with tryptophan in non-acute COVID-19 samples suggest mitigated innate immune system inflammatory response and immunopathology related lung damage prevention. Increased prevalence of histidine- and ketone-related metabolism in severe COVID-19 samples offers potential mechanistic insight to musculoskeletal degeneration-induced muscular weakness and host metabolism that has been hijacked by SARS-CoV2 infection to increase viral replication and invasion.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our findings highlight the metabolic transition from an innate immune response coupled with inflammatory pathway inhibition in non-acute infection to rampant inflammation and associated metabolic systemic dysfunction in severe COVID-19.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; Genome-scale metabolic modeling; Machine learning; Metabolomics
  17. Diabetes. 2022 Jul 13. pii: db220114. [Epub ahead of print]
      Adipose tissue macrophage (ATM) has been shown to play a key role in the pathogenesis of obesity-associated adipose tissue inflammation and metabolic diseases. However, the upstream factors that integrate the environmental signals to control ATM activation and adipose inflammation in obesity remain elusive. Here, we identify BAF60a, a subunit of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complexes, as the central checkpoint regulator of obesity-induced ATM activation, adipose tissue inflammation and systemic metabolic impairment. BAF60a expression was robustly downregulated in the adipose tissue stromal vascular fractions (SVFs) in type 2 diabetic mice. Myeloid-specific BAF60a ablation (BaMKO) promotes ATM pro-inflammatory activation, exacerbating diet-induced obesity, insulin resistance and metabolic dysfunction. Conversely, myeloid-specific overexpression of BAF60a in mice attenuates macrophage pro-inflammatory activation. Mechanistically, transcriptome and chromatin landscape analyses demonstrate that BAF60a inactivation triggers the expression of pro-inflammatory gene program through chromatin remodeling. Moreover, motif analysis of ATAC-Seq and CUT&Tag-Seq data identifies the transcription factor Atf3 that physically interacts with BAF60a to suppress the pro-inflammatory gene expression, thereby controlling ATM activation and metabolic inflammation in obesity. Consistently, myeloid-specific Atf3 deficiency also promotes the pro-inflammatory activation of macrophage. Together, this work uncovers BAF60a/Atf3 axis as the key regulator in obesity-associated ATM activation, adipose tissue inflammation and metabolic diseases.
  18. EMBO Rep. 2022 Jul 14. e54611
      Inflammasomes are cytosolic multiprotein complexes that initiate host defense against bacterial pathogens. The nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain (NOD)-like receptor (NLR) family caspase-associated recruitment domain-containing protein 4 (NLRC4) inflammasomes plays a critical role in the inflammatory response against intracellular bacterial infection. The NLR family apoptosis inhibitory proteins (NAIPs) detect Flagellin or type III secretion system (T3SS) microbial components to activate NLRC4 inflammasome. However, the underlying mechanism of NLRC4 inflammasome activation is not completely understood. Here, we show that the vitamin D receptor (VDR) is an essential immunological regulator of the NLRC4 inflammasome. Conditional VDR knockout mice (VDRflox/flox lyz2-Cre) exhibited impaired clearance of pathogens after acute Salmonella Typhimurium infection leading to poor survival. In macrophages, VDR deficiency reduced caspase-1 activation and IL-1β secretion upon S. Typhimurium infection. For NAIPs act as upstream sensors for NLRC4 inflammasome assembly, the further study demonstrated that VDR promoted the NAIP-NLRC4 association and triggered NAIP-NLRC4 inflammasome activation, not NLRP3 activation. Moreover, Lys123 residue of VDR is identified as the critical amino acid for VDR-NLRC4 interaction, and the mutant VDR (K123A) effectively attenuates the NLRC4 inflammasome activation. Together, our findings suggest that VDR is a critical regulator of NAIPs-NLRC4 inflammasome activation, mediating innate immunity against bacterial infection.
    Keywords:  NLRC4 inflammasome; S. Typhimurium infection; VDR
  19. Front Immunol. 2022 ;13 886822
      Immunometabolism has been the focus of extensive research over the last years, especially in terms of augmenting anti-tumor immune responses. Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are a subset of CD4+ T cells, which have been known for their immunosuppressive roles in various conditions including anti-tumor immune responses. Even though several studies aimed to target Tregs in the tumor microenvironment (TME), such approaches generally result in the inhibition of the Tregs non-specifically, which may cause immunopathologies such as autoimmunity. Therefore, specifically targeting the Tregs in the TME would be vital in terms of achieving a successful and specific treatment. Recently, an association between Tregs and isoleucine, which represents one type of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), has been demonstrated. The presence of isoleucine seems to affect majorly Tregs, rather than conventional T cells. Considering the fact that Tregs bear several distinct metabolic features in the TME, targeting their immunometabolic pathways may be a rational approach. In this Review, we provide a general overview on the potential distinct metabolic features of T cells, especially focusing on BCAAs in Tregs as well as in their subtypes.
    Keywords:  T cells; branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs); branched-chain keto acids (BCKAs); immunometabolism; isoleucine; regulatory T cells (Tregs); tumor microenvironment
  20. Front Mol Biosci. 2022 ;9 895028
      Peritonitis and subsequent sepsis lead to high morbidity and mortality in response to uncontrolled systemic inflammation primarily mediated by macrophages. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is an important regulator of oxidative stress and immunoinflammatory responses. However, the effects of NAD+ replenishment during inflammatory activation are still poorly defined. Hence, we investigated whether the administration of β-nicotinamide mononucleotide (β-NMN), a natural biosynthetic precursor of NAD+, could modulate the macrophage phenotype and thereby ameliorate the dysregulated inflammatory response during sepsis. For this purpose, C57BL6 mice were subjected to the cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) model to provoke sepsis or were injected with thioglycolate to induce sterile peritonitis with recruitment and differentiation of macrophages into the inflamed peritoneal cavity. β-NMN was administered for 4 days after CLP and for 3 days post thioglycolate treatment where peritoneal macrophages were subsequently analyzed. In the CLP model, administration of β-NMN decreased bacterial load in blood and reduced clinical signs of distress and mortality during sepsis. These results were supported by transcriptomic analysis of hearts and lungs 24 h post CLP-induction, which revealed that β-NMN downregulated genes controlling the immuno-inflammatory response and upregulated genes involved in bioenergetic metabolism, mitochondria, and autophagy. In the thioglycolate model, a significant increase in the proportion of CD206 macrophages, marker of anti-inflammatory M2 phenotype, was detected on peritoneal exudate macrophages from β-NMN-administered mice. Transcriptomic signature of these macrophages after bacterial stimulation confirmed that β-NMN administration limited the pro-inflammatory M1 phenotype and induced the expression of specific markers of M2 type macrophages. Furthermore, our data show that β-NMN treatment significantly impacts NAD + metabolism. This shift in the macrophage phenotype and metabolism was accompanied by a reduction in phagolysosome acidification and secretion of inflammatory mediators in macrophages from β-NMN-treated mice suggesting a reduced pro-inflammatory activation. In conclusion, administration of β-NMN prevented clinical deterioration and improved survival during sepsis. These effects relied on shifts in the metabolism of organs that face up an increased energy requirement caused by bacterial infection and in innate immunity response, including reprogramming of macrophages from a highly inflammatory phenotype to an anti-inflammatory/pro-resolving profile.
    Keywords:  macrophage; monocyte; nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide; nicotinamide mononucleotide; peritonitis; sepsis
  21. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2022 Jul 06. pii: S0006-291X(22)00944-5. [Epub ahead of print]621 130-136
      Natural flavonoids, such as baicalin, have been extensively studied for their role in bacterial infection. However, the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. We demonstrated that baicalin coordinates mitochondrial function and dynamics to promote antibacterial response. Baicalin protected against Staphylococcus aureus infections and alleviates inflammatory responses in vivo and in vitro. An increase in mitochondrial mass and elevated expression of factors regulating mitochondrial fission and fusion were observed in baicalin-treated macrophages. Baicalin induced Drp1-dependent biogenesis, which contributes to the generation of additional mitochondria. Baicalin improved the mitochondrial membrane potential, ATP levels, and mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mtROS) production. Importantly, the inhibition of mitochondrial function by rotenone or MitoTEMPO suppressed the antimicrobial activity of baicalin in macrophages. We conclude that baicalin can regulate immune responses during S. aureus infection by improving mitochondrial function and dynamics, implying that it is a promising therapeutic agent for controlling infection and inflammatory diseases.
    Keywords:  Baicalin; Macrophages; Mitochondria; Staphylococcus aureus
  22. Front Cardiovasc Med. 2022 ;9 938535
    Keywords:  atherosclerosis; cardiovascular disease; chronic inflammation; immunometabolism; innate immunity metabolic syndrome; lipids
  23. Allergy Asthma Immunol Res. 2022 Jul;14(4): 393-411
      PURPOSE: The molecular links between metabolism and inflammation that drive different inflammatory phenotypes in asthma are poorly understood. We aimed to identify the metabolic signatures and underlying molecular pathways of different inflammatory asthma phenotypes.METHODS: In the discovery set (n = 119), untargeted ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS) was applied to characterize the induced sputum metabolic profiles of asthmatic patients with different inflammatory phenotypes using orthogonal partial least-squares discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA), and pathway topology enrichment analysis. In the validation set (n = 114), differential metabolites were selected to perform targeted quantification. Correlations between targeted metabolites and clinical indices in asthmatic patients were analyzed. Logistic and negative binomial regression models were established to assess the association between metabolites and severe asthma exacerbations.
    RESULTS: Seventy-seven differential metabolites were identified in the discovery set. Pathway topology analysis uncovered that histidine metabolism, glycerophospholipid metabolism, nicotinate and nicotinamide metabolism, linoleic acid metabolism as well as phenylalanine, tyrosine and tryptophan biosynthesis were involved in the pathogenesis of different asthma phenotypes. In the validation set, 24 targeted quantification metabolites were significantly expressed between asthma inflammatory phenotypes. Finally, adenosine 5'-monophosphate (adjusted relative risk [adj RR] = 1.000; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.000-1.000; P = 0.050), allantoin (adj RR = 1.000; 95% CI = 1.000-1.000; P = 0.043) and nicotinamide (adj RR = 1.001; 95% CI = 1.000-1.002; P = 0.021) were demonstrated to predict severe asthma exacerbation rates.
    CONCLUSIONS: Different inflammatory asthma phenotypes have specific metabolic profiles in induced sputum. The potential metabolic signatures may identify therapeutic targets in different inflammatory asthma phenotypes.
    Keywords:  Asthma; biomarkers; metabolomics; phenotype; sputum
  24. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis. 2022 Jul 11. pii: S0925-4439(22)00159-4. [Epub ahead of print] 166488
      Most macrophages generate energy to mount an inflammatory cytokine response by increased glucose metabolism through intracellular glycolysis. Previous studies have suggested that alveolar macrophages (AMs), which reside in a glucose-poor natural environment, are less capable to utilize glycolysis and instead rely on other substrates to fuel oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) for energy supply. At present, it is not known whether AMs are capable to use glucose metabolism to produce cytokines when other metabolic options are blocked. Here, we studied human AMs retrieved by bronchoalveolar lavage from healthy subjects, and examined their glucose metabolism in response to activation by the gram-negative bacterial component lipopolysaccharide (LPS) ex vivo. The immunological and metabolic responses of AMs were compared to those of cultured blood monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs) from the same subjects. LPS stimulation enhanced cytokine release by both AMs and MDMs, which was associated with increased lactate release by MDMs (reflecting glycolysis), but not by AMs. In agreement, LPS induced higher mRNA expression of multiple glycolytic regulators in MDMs, but not in AMs. Flux analyses of [13C]-glucose revealed no differences in [13C]-incorporation in glucose metabolism intermediates in AMs. Inhibition of OXPHOS by oligomycin strongly reduced LPS-induced cytokine production by AMs, but not by MDMs. Collectively, these results indicate that human AMs, in contrast to MDMs, do not use glucose metabolism during LPS-induced activation and fully rely on OXPHOS for cytokine production.
    Keywords:  Alveolar macrophages; Glucose metabolism; Lipopolysaccharide; Monocyte-derived macrophages
  25. Front Immunol. 2022 ;13 841065
      The intestinal immune system and microbiota are emerging as important contributors to the development of metabolic syndrome, but the role of intestinal dendritic cells (DCs) in this context is incompletely understood. BATF3 is a transcription factor essential in the development of mucosal conventional DCs type 1 (cDC1). We show that Batf3-/- mice developed metabolic syndrome and have altered localization of tight junction proteins in intestinal epithelial cells leading to increased intestinal permeability. Treatment with the glycolysis inhibitor 2-deoxy-D-glucose reduced intestinal inflammation and restored barrier function in obese Batf3-/- mice. High-fat diet further enhanced the metabolic phenotype and susceptibility to dextran sulfate sodium colitis in Batf3-/- mice. Antibiotic treatment of Batf3-/- mice prevented metabolic syndrome and impaired intestinal barrier function. Batf3-/- mice have altered IgA-coating of fecal bacteria and displayed microbial dysbiosis marked by decreased obesity protective Akkermansia muciniphila, and Bifidobacterium. Thus, BATF3 protects against metabolic syndrome and preserves intestinal epithelial barrier by maintaining beneficial microbiota.
    Keywords:  BATF3; Metabolic syndrome; colitis; hyperglycemia; intestinal dendritic cells; intestinal permeability; microbiota; mucosal immunity
  26. Cell Mol Immunol. 2022 Jul 11.
      Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) have an increased risk of cancer. The effect of glucose metabolism on γδ T cells and their impact on tumor surveillance remain unknown. Here, we showed that high glucose induced Warburg effect type of bioenergetic profile in Vγ9Vδ2 T cells, leading to excessive lactate accumulation, which further inhibited lytic granule secretion by impairing the trafficking of cytolytic machinery to the Vγ9Vδ2 T-cell-tumor synapse by suppressing AMPK activation and resulted in the loss of antitumor activity in vitro, in vivo and in patients. Strikingly, activating the AMPK pathway through glucose control or metformin treatment reversed the metabolic abnormalities and restored the antitumor activity of Vγ9Vδ2 T cells. These results suggest that the impaired antitumor activity of Vγ9Vδ2 T cells induced by dysregulated glucose metabolism may contribute to the increased cancer risk in T2DM patients and that metabolic reprogramming by targeting the AMPK pathway with metformin may improve tumor immunosurveillance.
    Keywords:  AMPK; Glucose metabolism; Lactate; T2DM; Tumor surveillance; γδ T cells
  27. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2022 Jul 14. 15353702221110647
      A major component of aging is chronic, low-grade inflammation, attributable in part by impaired gut barrier function. We previously reported that deletion of ghrelin, a peptidergic hormone released mainly from the gut, exacerbates experimental muscle atrophy in aged mice. In addition, ghrelin has been shown to ameliorate colitis in experimental models of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), although the role of endogenous ghrelin in host-microbe interactions is less clear. Here, we showed that 22-month-old global ghrelin knockout (Ghrl-/-) mice exhibited significantly increased depressive-like behaviors, while anxiety levels and working memory were similar to littermate wild-type (WT) mice. Furthermore, old Ghrl-/- mice showed significantly increased intestinal permeability to fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-dextran, significantly higher colonic interleukin (IL-1β) levels, and trends for higher colonic IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) compared to WT mice. Interestingly, young Ghrl-/- and WT mice showed comparable depressive-like behavior and gut permeability, suggesting age-dependent exacerbation in gut barrier dysfunction in Ghrl-/- mice. While fecal short-chain fatty acids levels were comparable between old Ghrl-/- and WT mice, serum metabolome revealed alterations in metabolic cascades including tryptophan metabolism. Specifically, tryptophan and its microbial derivatives indole-3-acetic acid and indole-3-lactic acid were significantly reduced in old Ghrl-/-mice. Furthermore, in an experimental model of dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis, Ghrl-/- mice showed exacerbated disease symptoms, and higher levels of chemoattractant and pro-inflammatory cytokines in the colon. Overall, these data demonstrated that ghrelin deficiency is associated with gut barrier dysfunction, alterations in microbially derived tryptophan metabolites, and increased susceptibility to colitis. These data suggested that endogenous ghrelin contributes to maintaining a healthy host-microbe environment, ultimately impacting on brain function.
    Keywords:  Ghrelin; aging; gut barrier; indoles; tryptophan metabolism
  28. FASEB J. 2022 Aug;36(8): e22435
      Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is associated with a disturbed metabolism in liver, insulin resistance, and excessive accumulation of ectopic fat. Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) may beneficially modulate hepatic lipids, however, it remains unclear whether individual BCAAs can attenuate already established NASH and associated oxidative-inflammatory stress. After a 26 weeks run-in on fast food diet (FFD), obese Ldlr-/-.Leiden mice were treated for another 12 weeks with either valine or isoleucine (3% of FFD) and then compared to FFD controls. Valine and isoleucine did not affect obesity, dyslipidemia, gut permeability, or fecal fatty acid excretion, but significantly reduced hyperinsulinemia. Valine and isoleucine reduced ALT, CK18-M30, and liver steatosis with a particularly pronounced suppression of the microvesicular component (-61% by valine and -71% by isoleucine). Both BCAAs decreased intrahepatic diacylglycerols and 4-hydroxynonenal immunoreactivity, a marker for oxidative stress-induced lipid peroxidation. Functional genomics analysis demonstrated that valine and isoleucine affected BCAA metabolism genes, deactivated master regulators of anabolic pathways related to steatosis (e.g., SREBPF1), and activated master regulators of mitochondrial biogenesis (e.g., PPARGC1A) and lipid catabolism (e.g., ACOX1, AMPK). This correction of critical metabolic pathways on gene expression level was accompanied by a significant decrease in histological liver inflammation, and suppression of FFD-stimulated cytokine and chemokine proteins KC/CXCL1, MCP-1/CCL2, and MIP-2/CXCL2 and their pathways. In conclusion, dietary intervention with either valine or isoleucine corrected liver diacylglycerols, gene expression of multiple metabolic processes, and reduced NASH histology with profound hepatoprotective effects on oxidative stress and inflammatory proteins.
    Keywords:  branched-chain amino acids; diacylglycerols; insulin resistance; lipid metabolism; non-alcoholic steatohepatitis; oxidative stress