bims-imicid Biomed News
on Immunometabolism of infection, cancer and immune-mediated disease
Issue of 2023‒05‒07
25 papers selected by
Dylan Ryan
University of Cambridge

  1. Mol Biol Cell. 2023 May 03. mbcE23020070
      The short-chain fatty acid metabolite acetyl-coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA) has emerged as a major signal transducer that can broadly affect cell fate and function at least partly by influencing acetylation of key proteins. The mechanism by which acetyl-CoA regulates CD4+ T cell fate determination remains poorly understood. Herein, we report that acetate modulates glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) acetylation and CD4+ T helper 1 (Th1) cell differentiation by altering acetyl-CoA levels. Our transcriptome profiling shows that acetate is a robust positive regulator of CD4+ T cell gene expression typical of glycolysis. We further show that acetate potentiates GAPDH activity, aerobic glycolysis and Th1 polarization through regulation of GAPDH acetylation levels. This acetate-dependent GAPDH acetylation occurs in a dose- and time-dependent manner, while decreasing acetyl-CoA levels by fatty acid oxidation (FAO) inhibition results in a decline in acetyl-GAPDH levels. Thus, acetate functions as a potent metabolic regulator in CD4+ T cells by promoting GAPDH acetylation and Th1 cell fate decision.
  2. iScience. 2023 May 19. 26(5): 106578
      Caloric deprivation interventions such as intermittent fasting and caloric restriction ameliorate metabolic and inflammatory disease. As a human model of caloric deprivation, a 24-h fast blunts innate and adaptive immune cell responsiveness relative to the refed state. Isolated serum at these time points confers these same immunomodulatory effects on transformed cell lines. To identify serum mediators orchestrating this, metabolomic and lipidomic analysis was performed on serum extracted after a 24-h fast and re-feeding. Bioinformatic integration with concurrent peripheral blood mononuclear cells RNA-seq analysis implicated key metabolite-sensing GPCRs in fasting-mediated immunomodulation. The putative GPR18 ligand N-arachidonylglycine (NAGly) was elevated during fasting and attenuated CD4+T cell responsiveness via GPR18 MTORC1 signaling. In parallel, NAGly reduced inflammatory Th1 and Th17 cytokines levels in CD4+T cells isolated from obese subjects, identifying a fasting-responsive metabolic intermediate that may contribute to the regulation of nutrient-level dependent inflammation associated with metabolic disease.
    Keywords:  Human metabolism; Immunology; Lipidomics; Metabolomics; Transcriptomics
  3. Annu Rev Immunol. 2023 04 26. 41 317-342
      Over the last decade, immunometabolism has emerged as a novel interdisciplinary field of research and yielded significant fundamental insights into the regulation of immune responses. Multiple classical approaches to interrogate immunometabolism, including bulk metabolic profiling and analysis of metabolic regulator expression, paved the way to appreciating the physiological complexity of immunometabolic regulation in vivo. Studying immunometabolism at the systems level raised the need to transition towards the next-generation technology for metabolic profiling and analysis. Spatially resolved metabolic imaging and computational algorithms for multi-modal data integration are new approaches to connecting metabolism and immunity. In this review, we discuss recent studies that highlight the complex physiological interplay between immune responses and metabolism and give an overview of technological developments that bear the promise of capturing this complexity most directly and comprehensively.
    Keywords:  computational biology; immunometabolism; metabolic imaging; metabolomics; systems immunology; transcriptomics
  4. Nat Commun. 2023 May 05. 14(1): 2610
      Severe COVID-19 is characterized by an increase in the number and changes in the function of innate immune cells including neutrophils. However, it is not known how the metabolome of immune cells changes in patients with COVID-19. To address these questions, we analyzed the metabolome of neutrophils from patients with severe or mild COVID-19 and healthy controls. We identified widespread dysregulation of neutrophil metabolism with disease progression including in amino acid, redox, and central carbon metabolism. Metabolic changes in neutrophils from patients with severe COVID-19 were consistent with reduced activity of the glycolytic enzyme GAPDH. Inhibition of GAPDH blocked glycolysis and promoted pentose phosphate pathway activity but blunted the neutrophil respiratory burst. Inhibition of GAPDH was sufficient to cause neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation which required neutrophil elastase activity. GAPDH inhibition increased neutrophil pH, and blocking this increase prevented cell death and NET formation. These findings indicate that neutrophils in severe COVID-19 have an aberrant metabolism which can contribute to their dysfunction. Our work also shows that NET formation, a pathogenic feature of many inflammatory diseases, is actively suppressed in neutrophils by a cell-intrinsic mechanism controlled by GAPDH.
  5. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2023 ;13 1120769
      Sepsis is identified as a potentially lethal organ impairment triggered by an inadequate host reaction to infection (Sepsis-3). Viral sepsis is a potentially deadly organ impairment state caused by the host's inappropriate reaction to a viral infection. However, when a viral infection occurs, the metabolism of the infected cell undergoes a variety of changes that cause the host to respond to the infection. But, until now, little has been known about the challenges faced by cellular metabolic alterations that occur during viral infection and how these changes modulate infection. This study concentrates on the alterations in glucose metabolism during viral sepsis and their impact on viral infection, with a view to exploring new potential therapeutic targets for viral sepsis.
    Keywords:  antiviral; glucose metabolism; immune cell; sepsis; virus
  6. Nat Commun. 2023 04 29. 14(1): 2471
      T helper 9 (TH9) cells promote allergic tissue inflammation and express the type 2 cytokines, IL-9 and IL-13, as well as the transcription factor, PPAR-γ. However, the functional role of PPAR-γ in human TH9 cells remains unknown. Here, we demonstrate that PPAR-γ drives activation-induced glycolysis, which, in turn, promotes the expression of IL-9, but not IL-13, in an mTORC1-dependent manner. In vitro and ex vivo experiments show that the PPAR-γ-mTORC1-IL-9 pathway is active in TH9 cells in human skin inflammation. Additionally, we find dynamic regulation of tissue glucose levels in acute allergic skin inflammation, suggesting that in situ glucose availability is linked to distinct immunological functions in vivo. Furthermore, paracrine IL-9 induces expression of the lactate transporter, MCT1, in TH cells and promotes their aerobic glycolysis and proliferative capacity. Altogether, our findings uncover a hitherto unknown relationship between PPAR-γ-dependent glucose metabolism and pathogenic effector functions in human TH9 cells.
  7. Immunol Invest. 2023 May 02. 1-25
      Adipose tissue macrophages (ATM) are an essential type of immune cells in adipose tissue. Obesity induces the inflammation of adipose tissues, as expressed by ATM accumulation, that is more likely to become a source of systemic metabolic diseases, including insulin resistance. The process is characterized by the transcriptional regulation of inflammatory pathways by virtue of signaling molecules such as cytokines and free fatty acids. Notably, posttranslational modification (PTM) is a key link for these signaling molecules to trigger the proinflammatory or anti-inflammatory phenotype of ATMs. This review focuses on summarizing the functions and molecular mechanisms of ATMs regulating inflammation in obese adipose tissue. Furthermore, the role of PTM is elaborated, hoping to identify new horizons of treatment and prevention for obesity-mediated metabolic disease.
    Keywords:  Adipose tissue macrophages; inflammation; obesity; posttranslational modifications
  8. Inflammation. 2023 May 04.
      With advances in immunometabolic studies, more and more evidence has shown that metabolic changes profoundly affect the immune function of macrophages. The tricarboxylic acid cycle is a central metabolic pathway of cells. Itaconate, a byproduct of the tricarboxylic acid cycle, is an emerging metabolic small molecule that regulates macrophage inflammation and has received much attention for its potent anti-inflammatory effects in recent years. Itaconate regulates macrophage function through multiple mechanisms and has demonstrated promising therapeutic potential in a variety of immune and inflammatory diseases. New progress in the mechanism of itaconate continues to be made, but it also implies complexity in its action and a need for a more comprehensive understanding of its role in macrophages. In this article, we review the primary mechanisms and current research progress of itaconate in regulating macrophage immune metabolism, hoping to provide new insights and directions for future research and disease treatment.
    Keywords:  immunity; inflammation; itaconate.; macrophage; metabolism
  9. JCI Insight. 2023 May 04. pii: e157948. [Epub ahead of print]
      Obesity-associated metabolic inflammation drives the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, notably through modulating innate and adaptive immune cells in metabolic organs. The nutrient sensor liver kinase B1 (LKB1) has recently been shown to control cellular metabolism and T cell priming functions of dendritic cells (DCs). Here, we report that hepatic DCs from high-fat diet (HFD)-fed obese mice display increased LKB1 phosphorylation and that LKB1 deficiency in DCs (CD11cΔLKB1) worsened HFD-driven hepatic steatosis and impaired glucose homeostasis. Loss of LKB1 in DCs was associated with increased expression of T helper 17-polarizing cytokines and accumulation of hepatic IL-17A+ T helper cells in HFD-fed mice. Importantly, IL-17A neutralization rescued metabolic perturbations in HFD-fed CD11cΔLKB1 mice. Mechanistically, deficiency of the canonical LKB1 target AMPK in HFD-fed CD11cΔAMPKα1 mice recapitulated neither the hepatic Th17 phenotype nor the disrupted metabolic homeostasis, suggesting the involvement of other and/or additional LKB1 downstream effectors. We indeed provide evidence that the control of Th17 responses by DCs via LKB1 is actually dependent on both AMPKalpha1 and AMPK-related salt-inducible kinase(s) signaling. Altogether, our data reveal a key role for LKB1 signaling in DCs in protection against obesity-induced metabolic dysfunctions by limiting hepatic Th17 responses.
    Keywords:  Dendritic cells; Immunology; Metabolism; Obesity; T cells
  10. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023 May 09. 120(19): e2212613120
      Oxidative stress is a key feature in both chronic inflammation and cancer. P38 regulated/activated protein kinase (PRAK) deficiency can cause functional disorders in neutrophils and macrophages under high oxidative stress, but the precise mechanisms by which PRAK regulates reactive oxygen species (ROS) elimination and its potential impact on CD4+ T helper subset function are unclear. The present study reveals that the PRAK-NF-E2-related factor 2(NRF2) axis is essential for maintaining the intracellular redox homeostasis of T helper 17(Th17) cells, thereby promoting Th17 cell differentiation and antitumor effects. Through mechanistic analysis, we identify NRF2 as a novel protein substrate of PRAK and find that PRAK enhances the stability of the NRF2 protein through phosphorylation NRF2 Serine(S) 558 independent of protein ubiquitination. High accumulation of cellular ROS caused by loss of PRAK disrupts both glycolysis and PKM2-dependent phosphorylation of STAT3, which subsequently impairs the differentiation of Th17 cells. As a result, Prak knockout (KO) mice display significant resistance to experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) but impaired antitumor immunity in a MC38 tumor model. This work reveals that the PRAK-NRF2-mediated antioxidant pathway is a metabolic checkpoint that controls Th17-cell glycolysis and differentiation. Targeting PRAK is a promising strategy for maintaining an active ROS scavenging system and may lead to potent Th17 cell antitumor immunity.
    Keywords:  NRF2; PRAK; ROS; Th17; glycolysis
  11. Metabolism. 2023 May 03. pii: S0026-0495(23)00186-5. [Epub ahead of print] 155583
      Lean patients with MAFLD have an initial adaptive metabolic response characterised by increased serum bile acids and Farnesoid X Receptor (FXR) activity. How this adaptive response wanes resulting in an equal or perhaps worse long-term adverse outcome compared to patients with obese MAFLD is not known. We show that patients with lean MAFLD have endotoxemia while their macrophages demonstrate excess production of inflammatory cytokines in response to activation by Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands when compared to healthy subjects. Alterations of the lean MAFLD macrophage epigenome drives this response and suppresses bile acids signalling to drive inflammation. Our data suggests that selectively restoring bile acids signalling might restore adaptive metabolic responses in patients with MAFLD who are lean.
    Keywords:  Bile acids; Epigenetics; MAFLD; Metabolic adaptation
  12. Cell Metab. 2023 May 02. pii: S1550-4131(23)00131-6. [Epub ahead of print]35(5): 728-729
      Immune cell microenvironment plays a major role in the aberrant function of immune cells in systemic lupus erythematosus. Zeng and co-authors show that in human and murine lupus, splenic stromal cell-derived acetylcholine switches B cell metabolism to fatty acid oxidation and promotes B cell autoreactivity and disease development.
  13. PLoS Pathog. 2023 May 01. 19(5): e1011371
      Senecavirus A (SVA)-induced porcine idiopathic vesicular disease has caused huge economic losses worldwide. Glucose metabolism in the host cell is essential for SVA proliferation; however, the impact of the virus on glucose metabolism in host cells and the subsequent effects are still unknown. Here, glycolysis induced by SVA is shown to facilitate virus replication by promoting lactate production, which then attenuates the interaction between the mitochondrial antiviral-signaling protein (MAVS) and retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I). SVA induces glycolysis in PK-15 cells, as indicated by significantly increased expression of hexokinase 2 (HK2), 6-phosphofructokinase (PFKM), pyruvate kinase M (PKM), phosphoglycerate kinase 1 (PGK1), hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1α), and superoxide dismutase-2 (SOD2) in a dose-and replication-dependent manner, and enhanced lactate production, while reducing ATP generation. Overexpression of PKM, PGK1, HIF-1α, and PDK3 in PK-15 cells and high glucose concentrations promote SVA replication, while glycolytic inhibitors decrease it. Inhibition of RLR signaling allowed better replication of SVA by promoting lactate production to attenuate the interaction between MAVS and RIG-I, and regulatory effect of glycolysis on replication of SVA was mainly via RIG-I signaling. SVA infection in mice increased expression of PKM and PGK1 in tissues and serum yields of lactate. Mice treated with high glucose and administered sodium lactate showed elevated lactate levels and better SVA replication, as well as suppressed induction of RIG-I, interferon beta (IFNβ), IFNα, interferon-stimulated gene 15 (ISG15), and interleukin 6 (IL-6). The inhibitory effect on interferons was lower in mice administered sodium oxamate and low glucose compared to the high glucose, indicating that RLR signaling was inhibited by SVA infection through lactate in vitro and in vivo. These results provide a new perspective on the relationship between metabolism and innate immunity of the host in SVA infection, suggesting that glycolysis or lactate may be new targets against the virus.
  14. Immunometabolism (Cobham). 2023 Apr;5(2): e00024
      Bacterial cell wall peptidoglycan is composed of innate immune ligands and, due to its important structural role, also regulates access to many other innate immune ligands contained within the bacteria. There is a growing body of literature demonstrating how innate immune recognition impacts the metabolic functions of immune cells and how metabolic changes are not only important to inflammatory responses but are often essential. Peptidoglycan is primarily sensed in the context of the whole bacteria during lysosomal degradation; consequently, the innate immune receptors for peptidoglycan are primarily intracellular cytosolic innate immune sensors. However, during bacterial growth, peptidoglycan fragments are shed and can be found in the bloodstream of humans and mice, not only during infection but also derived from the abundant bacterial component of the gut microbiota. These peptidoglycan fragments influence cells throughout the body and are important for regulating inflammation and whole-body metabolic function. Therefore, it is important to understand how peptidoglycan-induced signals in innate immune cells and cells throughout the body interact to regulate how the body responds to both pathogenic and nonpathogenic bacteria. This mini-review will highlight key research regarding how cellular metabolism shifts in response to peptidoglycan and how systemic peptidoglycan sensing impacts whole-body metabolic function.
    Keywords:  MDP; NOD1; NOD2; inflammation; metabolism; peptidoglycan
  15. bioRxiv. 2023 Apr 17. pii: 2023.04.15.536974. [Epub ahead of print]
      The limited efficacy of currently approved immunotherapies in EGFR-mutant lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) underscores the need to better understand mechanisms governing local immunosuppression. Elevated surfactant and GM-CSF secretion from the transformed epithelium induces tumor-associated alveolar macrophages (TA-AM) to proliferate and support tumor growth by rewiring inflammatory functions and lipid metabolism. TA-AM properties are driven by increased GM-CSF-PPARγ signaling and inhibition of airway GM-CSF or PPARγ in TA-AMs suppresses cholesterol efflux to tumor cells, which impairs EGFR phosphorylation and restrains LUAD progression. In the absence of TA-AM metabolic support, LUAD cells compensate by increasing cholesterol synthesis, and blocking PPARγ in TA-AMs simultaneous with statin therapy further suppresses tumor progression and increases T cell effector functions. These results reveal new therapeutic combinations for immunotherapy resistant EGFR-mutant LUADs and demonstrate how such cancer cells can metabolically co-opt TA-AMs through GM-CSF-PPARγ signaling to provide nutrients that promote oncogenic signaling and growth.
  16. Immunometabolism (Cobham). 2023 Apr;5(2): e00025
      The activation and function of T cells is fundamental for the control of infectious diseases and cancer, and conversely can mediate several autoimmune diseases. Among the signaling pathways leading to T cell activation and function, the sensing of extracellular adenosine triphosphate (eATP) has been recently appreciated as an important component. Through a plethora of purinergic receptors, most prominently P2RX7, eATP sensing can induce a wide variety of processes in T cells, such as proliferation, subset differentiation, survival, or cell death. The downstream roles of eATP sensing can vary according to (a) the T cell subset, (b) the tissue where T cells are, and (c) the time after antigen exposure. In this mini-review, we revisit the recent findings on how eATP signaling pathways regulate T-cell immune responses and posit important unanswered questions on this field.
    Keywords:  P2RX7; T cell memory; T cells; eATP receptors; tissue damage
  17. Front Immunol. 2023 ;14 1150105
      The mechanism of Long Covid (Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19; PASC) is currently unknown, with no validated diagnostics or therapeutics. SARS-CoV-2 can cause disseminated infections that result in multi-system tissue damage, dysregulated inflammation, and cellular metabolic disruptions. The tissue damage and inflammation has been shown to impair microvascular circulation, resulting in hypoxia, which coupled with virally-induced metabolic reprogramming, increases cellular anaerobic respiration. Both acute and PASC patients show systemic dysregulation of multiple markers of the acid-base balance. Based on these data, we hypothesize that the shift to anaerobic respiration causes an acid-base disruption that can affect every organ system and underpins the symptoms of PASC. This hypothesis can be tested by longitudinally evaluating acid-base markers in PASC patients and controls over the course of a month. If our hypothesis is correct, this could have significant implications for our understanding of PASC and our ability to develop effective diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; Long Covid; PASC; SARS-CoV-2; acid-base; acidosis; inflammation
  18. iScience. 2023 May 19. 26(5): 106588
      Microglia exhibit diverse phenotypes in various central nervous system disorders and metabolic pathways exert crucial effects on microglial activation and effector functions. Here, we discovered two novel distinct microglial clusters, functionally associated with enhanced phagocytosis (PEMs) and myelination (MAMs) respectively, in human patients with multiple sclerosis by integrating public snRNA-seq data. Microglia adopt a PEMs phenotype during the early phase of demyelinated lesions, predominated in pro-inflammatory responses and aggravated glycolysis, while MAMs mainly emerged during the later phase, with regenerative signatures and enhanced oxidative phosphorylation. In addition, microglial triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (Trem2) was greatly involved in the phenotype transition in demyelination, but not indispensable for microglia transition toward PEMs. Rosiglitazone could promote microglial phenotype conversion from PEMs to MAMs, thus favoring myelin repair. Taken together, these findings provide insights into therapeutic interventions targeting immunometabolism to switch microglial phenotypes and facilitate regenerative capacity in demyelination.
    Keywords:  Cell biology; Cellular neuroscience; Immunology; Neuroscience
  19. Front Immunol. 2023 ;14 1160035
      Autoimmune diseases are characterized by vast alterations in immune responses, but the pathogenesis remains sophisticated and yet to be fully elucidated. Multiple mechanisms regulating cell differentiation, maturation, and death are critical, among which mitochondria-related cellular organelle functions have recently gained accumulating attention. Mitochondria, as a highly preserved organelle in eukaryotes, have crucial roles in the cellular response to both exogenous and endogenous stress beyond their fundamental functions in chemical energy conversion. In this review, we aim to summarize recent findings on the function of mitochondria in the innate immune response and its aberrancy in autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, etc., mainly focusing on its direct impact on cellular metabolism and its machinery on regulating immune response signaling pathways. More importantly, we summarize the status quo of potential therapeutic targets found in the mitochondrial regulation in the setting of autoimmune diseases and wish to shed light on future studies.
    Keywords:  autoimmune disease; immune metabolism; innate immunity; mitochondria; therapeutic targets
  20. J Inflamm Res. 2023 ;16 1837-1852
      Obviously, immune cells like T cells and macrophages play a major role in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). On one hand, the breakdown of immune homeostasis directly induces systemic inflammation; on the other hand, these cells initiate and perpetuate synovitis and tissue damages through the interaction with fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS). In recent years, the pathological link between metabolic disorders and immune imbalance has received increasing attention. High energy demand of immune cells leads to the accumulation of metabolic byproducts and inflammatory mediators. They act on various metabolism-sensitive signal pathways as well as relevant transcription factors, such as HIF-1α, and STATs. These molecular events will impact RA-related effectors like circulating immune cells and joint-resident cells in return, allowing the continuous progression of systemic inflammation, arthritic manifestations, and life-threatening complications. In other words, metabolic complications are secondary pathological factors for the progression of RA. Therefore, the status of energy metabolism may be an important indicator to evaluate RA severity, and in-depth explorations of the mechanisms underlying the mystery of how RA-related metabolic disorders develop will provide useful clues to further clarify the etiology of RA, and inspire the discovery of new anti-rheumatic targets. This article reviews the latest research progress on the interactions between immune and metabolism systems in the context of RA. Great importance is attached to the changes in certain pathways controlling both immune and metabolism functions during RA progression.
    Keywords:  immune cells; inflammation; metabolism; rheumatoid arthritis
  21. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2023 May 03. 80(5): 137
      Disordered lipid accumulation in the arterial wall is a hallmark of atherosclerosis. Previous studies found that the expression of triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2), a transmembrane receptor of the immunoglobulin family, is increased in mouse atherosclerotic aortic plaques. However, it remains unknown whether TREM2 plays a role in atherosclerosis. Here we investigated the role of TREM2 in atherosclerosis using ApoE knockout (ApoE-/-) mouse models, primary vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs), and bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs). In ApoE-/- mice, the density of TREM2-positive foam cells in aortic plaques increased in a time-dependent manner after the mice were fed a high-fat diet (HFD). Compared with ApoE-/- mice, the Trem2-/-/ApoE-/- double-knockout mice showed significantly reduced atherosclerotic lesion size, foam cell number, and lipid burden degree in plaques after HFD feeding. Overexpression of TREM2 in cultured vascular SMCs and macrophages exacerbates lipid influx and foam cell formation by upregulating the expression of the scavenger receptor CD36. Mechanistically, TREM2 inhibits the phosphorylation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and peroxisome proliferator activated-receptor gamma (PPARγ), thereby increasing PPARγ nuclear transcriptional activity and subsequently promoting the transcription of CD36. Our results indicate that TREM2 exacerbates atherosclerosis development by promoting SMC- and macrophage-derived foam cell formation by regulating scavenger receptor CD36 expression. Thus, TREM2 may act as a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of atherosclerosis.
    Keywords:  Atherosclerosis; Cholesterol uptake; Foam cell; Lipid metabolism; TREM2
  22. World J Psychiatry. 2023 Apr 19. 13(4): 141-148
      Serotonin deficiency in major depressive disorder (MDD) has formed the basis of antidepressant drug development and was originally attributed to induction of the major tryptophan (Trp)-degrading enzyme, liver Trp 2,3-dioxygenase (TDO), by cortisol, leading to decreased Trp availability to the brain for serotonin synthesis. Subsequently, the serotonin deficiency was proposed to involve induction of the extrahepatic Trp-degrading enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) by proinflammatory cytokines, with inflammation being the underlying cause. Recent evidence, however, challenges this latter concept, as not all MDD patients are immune-activated and, when present, inflammation is mild and/or transient. A wide range of antidepressant drugs inhibit the activity of liver TDO and bind specifically to the enzyme, but not to IDO. IDO induction is not a major event in MDD, but, when it occurs, its metabolic consequences may be masked and overridden by upregulation of kynurenine monooxygenase (KMO), the gateway to production of modulators of immune and neuronal functions. KMO appears to be activated in MDD by certain proinflammatory cytokines and antidepressants with anti-inflammatory properties may block this activation. We demonstrate the ability of the antidepressant ketamine to dock (bind) to KMO. The pathophysiology of MDD may be underpinned by both the serotonin deficiency and glutamatergic activation mediated respectively by TDO induction and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor activation. Inhibition of TDO and KMO should be the focus of MDD pharmacotherapy.
    Keywords:  Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase; Kynurenine monooxygenase; Major depressive disorder; Proinflammatory cytokines; Serotonin deficiency; Tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase
  23. PLoS Pathog. 2023 May 03. 19(5): e1011323
    COVIDsortium Investigators
      The severity of disease following infection with SARS-CoV-2 is determined by viral replication kinetics and host immunity, with early T cell responses and/or suppression of viraemia driving a favourable outcome. Recent studies uncovered a role for cholesterol metabolism in the SARS-CoV-2 life cycle and in T cell function. Here we show that blockade of the enzyme Acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT) with Avasimibe inhibits SARS-CoV-2 pseudoparticle infection and disrupts the association of ACE2 and GM1 lipid rafts on the cell membrane, perturbing viral attachment. Imaging SARS-CoV-2 RNAs at the single cell level using a viral replicon model identifies the capacity of Avasimibe to limit the establishment of replication complexes required for RNA replication. Genetic studies to transiently silence or overexpress ACAT isoforms confirmed a role for ACAT in SARS-CoV-2 infection. Furthermore, Avasimibe boosts the expansion of functional SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells from the blood of patients sampled during the acute phase of infection. Thus, re-purposing of ACAT inhibitors provides a compelling therapeutic strategy for the treatment of COVID-19 to achieve both antiviral and immunomodulatory effects. Trial registration: NCT04318314.
  24. JCI Insight. 2023 May 04. pii: e161096. [Epub ahead of print]
      Altered mitochondrial function without a well-defined cause has been documented in the patients with ulcerative colitis (UC). In our efforts to understand UC pathogenesis, we observed reduced expression of clustered mitochondrial homologue, CLUH, only in the active UC tissues compared to the unaffected areas from the same patient and healthy controls. Stimulation with bacterial toll like receptor (TLR) ligands similarly reduced CLUH expression in the human primary macrophages. Further, CLUH negatively regulated secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL6, TNF-α and rendered a pro-inflammatory niche in the TLR stimulated macrophage. CLUH was further found to bind to mitochondrial fission protein DRP-1 and also regulated DRP-1 transcription in the human macrophages. In the TLR ligand stimulated macrophages, absence of CLUH led to enhanced DRP-1 availability for mitochondrial fission and smaller dysfunctional mitochondrial pool was observed. Mechanistically, this fissioned mitochondrial pool in turn enhanced mitochondrial ROS production, reduced mitophagy and lysosomal function in the CLUH knockout macrophages. Remarkably, our studies in the mice model of colitis with CLUH knockdown displayed exacerbated disease pathology. Taken together, this is the first report signifying the role of CLUH in UC pathogenesis, by means of regulating inflammation via maintaining mitochondrial-lysosomal functions in the human macrophages and intestinal mucosa.
    Keywords:  Autoimmune diseases; Gastroenterology
  25. J Cell Mol Med. 2023 May 02.
      The pro-inflammatory phenotype of microglia usually induces neuroinflammatory reactions in neuropathic pain. Glycometabolism shift to glycolysis can promote the pro-inflammatory phenotype transition of microglia. The omics data analysis suggest a critical role for Lyn dysregulation in neuropathic pain. The present study aimed at exploring the mechanism of Lyn-mediated glycolysis enhancement of microglia in neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain model was established by chronic constriction injury (CCI), then pain thresholds and Lyn expression were measured. Lyn inhibitor Bafetinib and siRNA-lyn knockdown were administrated intrathecally to evaluate the effects of Lyn on pain thresholds, glycolysis and interferon regulatory factor 5 (IRF5) nuclear translocation of microglia in vivo and in vitro. ChIP was carried out to observe the binding of transcription factors SP1, PU.1 to glycolytic gene promoters by IRF5 knockdown. Finally, the relationship between glycolysis and pro-inflammatory phenotype transition of microglia was evaluated. CCI led to the upregulation of Lyn expression and glycolysis enhancement in microglia of spinal dorsal horn. Bafetinib or siRNA-lyn knockdown intrathecally alleviated pain hyperalgesia, suppressed glycolysis enhancement and inhibited nuclear translocation of IRF5 in CCI mice. Also, IRF5 promoted the binding of transcription factors SP1, PU.1 to glycolytic gene promoters, and then the enhanced glycolysis facilitated the proliferation and pro-inflammatory phenotype transition of microglia and contributed to neuropathic pain. Lyn-mediated glycolysis enhancement of microglia contributes to neuropathic pain through facilitating IRF5 nuclear translocation in spinal dorsal horn.
    Keywords:  Lyn; glycolysis; interferon regulatory factor 5; microglia; neuropathic pain; nuclear translocation