bims-imicid Biomed News
on Immunometabolism of infection, cancer and immune-mediated disease
Issue of 2024‒04‒14
thirty papers selected by
Dylan Ryan, University of Cambridge

  1. Nat Immunol. 2024 Apr 08.
      Natural killer (NK) cells are a critical first line of defense against viral infection. Rare mutations in a small subset of transcription factors can result in decreased NK cell numbers and function in humans, with an associated increased susceptibility to viral infection. However, our understanding of the specific transcription factors governing mature human NK cell function is limited. Here we use a non-viral CRISPR-Cas9 knockout screen targeting genes encoding 31 transcription factors differentially expressed during human NK cell development. We identify myocyte enhancer factor 2C (MEF2C) as a master regulator of human NK cell functionality ex vivo. MEF2C-haploinsufficient patients and mice displayed defects in NK cell development and effector function, with an increased susceptibility to viral infection. Mechanistically, MEF2C was required for an interleukin (IL)-2- and IL-15-mediated increase in lipid content through regulation of sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP) pathways. Supplementation with oleic acid restored MEF2C-deficient and MEF2C-haploinsufficient patient NK cell cytotoxic function. Therefore, MEF2C is a critical orchestrator of NK cell antiviral immunity by regulating SREBP-mediated lipid metabolism.
  2. Front Immunol. 2024 ;15 1375453
      The overconsumption of dietary fructose has been proposed as a major culprit for the rise of many metabolic diseases in recent years, yet the relationship between a high fructose diet and neurological dysfunction remains to be explored. Although fructose metabolism mainly takes place in the liver and intestine, recent studies have shown that a hyperglycemic condition could induce fructose metabolism in the brain. Notably, microglia, which are tissue-resident macrophages (Mφs) that confer innate immunity in the brain, also express fructose transporters (GLUT5) and are capable of utilizing fructose as a carbon fuel. Together, these studies suggest the possibility that a high fructose diet can regulate the activation and inflammatory response of microglia by metabolic reprogramming, thereby altering the susceptibility of developing neurological dysfunction. In this review, the recent advances in the understanding of microglia metabolism and how it supports its functions will be summarized. The results from both in vivo and in vitro studies that have investigated the mechanistic link between fructose-induced metabolic reprogramming of microglia and its function will then be reviewed. Finally, areas of controversies and their associated implications, as well as directions that warrant future research will be highlighted.
    Keywords:  GLUT5; fructose metabolism; glycolytic reprogramming; immunometabolism; inflammation; macrophages; microglia; neurological dysfunction
  3. bioRxiv. 2024 Mar 31. pii: 2024.03.28.587096. [Epub ahead of print]
      Metabolites and metabolic co-factors can shape the innate immune response, though the pathways by which these molecules adjust inflammation remain incompletely understood. Here we show that the metabolic cofactor Coenzyme A (CoA) enhances IL-4 driven alternative macrophage activation [m(IL-4)] in vitro and in vivo . Unexpectedly, we found that perturbations in intracellular CoA metabolism did not influence m(IL-4) differentiation. Rather, we discovered that exogenous CoA provides a weak TLR4 signal which primes macrophages for increased receptivity to IL-4 signals and resolution of inflammation via MyD88. Mechanistic studies revealed MyD88-linked signals prime for IL-4 responsiveness, in part, by reshaping chromatin accessibility to enhance transcription of IL-4-linked genes. The results identify CoA as a host metabolic co-factor that influences macrophage function through an extrinsic TLR4-dependent mechanism, and suggests that damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) can prime macrophages for alternative activation and resolution of inflammation.
  4. Front Immunol. 2024 ;15 1363938
      Arginine and tryptophan are pivotal in orchestrating cytokine-driven macrophage polarization and immune activation. Specifically, interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) stimulates inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression), leading to the conversion of arginine into citrulline and nitric oxide (NO), while Interleukin-4 (IL4) promotes arginase activation, shifting arginine metabolism toward ornithine. Concomitantly, IFN-γ triggers indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1) and Interleukin-4 induced 1 (IL4i1), resulting in the conversion of tryptophan into kynurenine and indole-3-pyruvic acid. These metabolic pathways are tightly regulated by NAD+-dependent sirtuin proteins, with Sirt2 and Sirt5 playing integral roles. In this review, we present novel insights that augment our understanding of the metabolic pathways of arginine and tryptophan following Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection, particularly their relevance in macrophage responses. Additionally, we discuss arginine methylation and demethylation and the role of Sirt2 and Sirt5 in regulating tryptophan metabolism and arginine metabolism, potentially driving macrophage polarization.
    Keywords:  Sirt2; Sirt5; arginine metabolism; macrophages; tryptophan metabolism; tuberculosis
  5. Free Radic Biol Med. 2024 Apr 09. pii: S0891-5849(24)00389-7. [Epub ahead of print]
      Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death globally, resulting in a major health burden. Thus, an urgent need exists for exploring effective therapeutic targets to block progression of CVDs and improve patient prognoses. Immune and inflammatory responses are involved in the development of atherosclerosis, ischemic myocardial damage responses and repair, calcification, and stenosis of the aortic valve. These responses can involve both large and small blood vessels throughout the body, leading to increased blood pressure and end-organ damage. While exploring potential avenues for therapeutic intervention in CVDs, researchers have begun to focus on immune metabolism, where metabolic changes that occur in immune cells in response to exogenous or endogenous stimuli can influence immune cell effector responses and local immune signaling. Itaconate, an intermediate metabolite of the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, is related to pathophysiological processes, including cellular metabolism, oxidative stress, and inflammatory immune responses. The expression of immune response gene 1 (IRG1) is upregulated in activated macrophages, and this gene encodes an enzyme that catalyzes the production of itaconate from the TCA cycle intermediate, cis-aconitate. Itaconate and its derivatives have exerted cardioprotective effects through immune modulation in various disease models, such as ischemic heart disease, valvular heart disease, vascular disease, heart transplantation, and chemotherapy drug-induced cardiotoxicity, implying their therapeutic potential in CVDs. In this review, we delve into the associated signaling pathways through which itaconate exerts immunomodulatory effects, summarize its specific roles in CVDs, and explore emerging immunological therapeutic strategies for managing CVDs.
    Keywords:  Cardiovascular disease; Immunometabolism; Itaconate; Signaling pathway
  6. Nature. 2024 Apr 10.
      Glucocorticoids represent the mainstay of therapy for a broad spectrum of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying their anti-inflammatory mode of action have remained incompletely understood1. Here we show that the anti-inflammatory properties of glucocorticoids involve reprogramming of the mitochondrial metabolism of macrophages, resulting in increased and sustained production of the anti-inflammatory metabolite itaconate and consequent inhibition of the inflammatory response. The glucocorticoid receptor interacts with parts of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex whereby glucocorticoids provoke an increase in activity and enable an accelerated and paradoxical flux of the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle in otherwise pro-inflammatory macrophages. This glucocorticoid-mediated rewiring of mitochondrial metabolism potentiates TCA-cycle-dependent production of itaconate throughout the inflammatory response, thereby interfering with the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. By contrast, artificial blocking of the TCA cycle or genetic deficiency in aconitate decarboxylase 1, the rate-limiting enzyme of itaconate synthesis, interferes with the anti-inflammatory effects of glucocorticoids and, accordingly, abrogates their beneficial effects during a diverse range of preclinical models of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases. Our findings provide important insights into the anti-inflammatory properties of glucocorticoids and have substantial implications for the design of new classes of anti-inflammatory drugs.
  7. Res Sq. 2024 Mar 29. pii: [Epub ahead of print]
      During the humoral immune response, B cells undergo rapid metabolic reprogramming with a high demand for nutrients, which are vital to sustain the formation of the germinal centers (GCs). Rag-GTPases sense amino acid availability to modulate the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) pathway and suppress transcription factor EB (TFEB) and transcription factor enhancer 3 (TFE3), members of the microphthalmia (MiT/TFE) family of HLH-leucine zipper transcription factors. However, how Rag-GTPases coordinate amino acid sensing, mTORC1 activation, and TFEB/TFE3 activity in humoral immunity remains undefined. Here, we show that B cell-intrinsic Rag-GTPases are critical for the development and activation of B cells. RagA/RagB deficient B cells fail to form GCs, produce antibodies, and generate plasmablasts in both T-dependent (TD) and T-independent (TI) humoral immune responses. Deletion of RagA/RagB in GC B cells leads to abnormal dark zone (DZ) to light zone (LZ) ratio and reduced affinity maturation. Mechanistically, the Rag-GTPase complex constrains TFEB/TFE3 activity to prevent mitophagy dysregulation and maintain mitochondrial fitness in B cells, which are independent of canonical mTORC1 activation. TFEB/TFE3 deletion restores B cell development, GC formation in Peyer's patches and TI humoral immunity, but not TD humoral immunity in the absence of Rag-GTPases. Collectively, our data establish Rag-GTPase-TFEB/TFE3 axis as an mTORC1 independent mechanism to coordinating nutrient sensing and mitochondrial metabolism in B cells.
  8. bioRxiv. 2024 Mar 29. pii: 2024.03.25.586170. [Epub ahead of print]
      Metabolism research is increasingly recognizing the contributions of organelle crosstalk to metabolic regulation. Mitochondria-associated membranes (MAMs), which are structures connecting the mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum (ER), are critical in a myriad of cellular functions linked to cellular metabolism. MAMs control calcium signaling, mitochondrial transport, redox balance, protein folding/degradation, and in some studies, metabolic health. The possibility that MAMs drive changes in cellular function in individuals with Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) is controversial. Although disruptions in MAMs that change the distance between the mitochondria and ER, MAM protein composition, or disrupt downstream signaling, can perpetuate inflammation, one key trait of T2D. However, the full scope of this structure's role in immune cell health and thus T2D-associated inflammation remains unknown. We show that human immune cell MAM proteins and their associated functions are not altered by T2D and thus unlikely to contribute to metaflammation.
  9. Int Immunopharmacol. 2024 Apr 09. pii: S1567-5769(24)00431-4. [Epub ahead of print]132 111913
      Resident synoviocytes and synovial microvasculature, together with immune cells from circulation, contribute to pannus formation, the main pathological feature of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), leading to destruction of adjacent cartilage and bone. Seeds, fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs), macrophages, dendritic cells (DCs), B cells, T cells and endothelial cells (ECs) seeds with high metabolic demands undergo metabolic reprogramming from oxidative phosphorylation to glycolysis in response to poor soil of RA synovium with hypoxia, nutrient deficiency and inflammatory stimuli. Glycolysis provides rapid energy supply and biosynthetic precursors to support pathogenic growth of these seeds. The metabolite lactate accumulated during this process in turn condition the soil microenvironment and affect seeds growth by modulating signalling pathways and directing lactylation modifications. This review explores in depth the survival mechanism of seeds with high metabolic demands in the poor soil of RA synovium, providing useful support for elucidating the etiology of RA. In addition, we discuss the role and major post-translational modifications of proteins and enzymes linked to glycolysis to inspire the discovery of novel anti-rheumatic targets.
    Keywords:  Glycolysis; Lactate; Rheumatoid arthritis; Seeds; Soil
  10. J Infect Dis. 2024 Apr 08. pii: jiae172. [Epub ahead of print]
      The impact of vaccine-induced immune responses on host metabolite availability has not been well studied. Here we show prior vaccination alters the metabolic profile of mice challenged with Brucella melitensis. In particular, glucose levels were reduced in vaccinated mice in an antibody-dependent manner. We also found the glucose transporter gene, gluP, plays a lesser role in B. melitensis virulence in vaccinated wild-type mice relative to vaccinated mice unable to secrete antibodies. These data indicate vaccine-elicited antibodies protect the host in part by restricting glucose availability. Moreover, Brucella and other pathogens may need to employ different metabolic strategies in vaccinated hosts.
    Keywords:   Brucella ; antibody; brucellosis; glucose; metabolism; vaccine
  11. Nat Commun. 2024 Apr 10. 15(1): 3103
      Exercise is usually regarded to have short-term beneficial effects on immune health. Here we show that early-life regular exercise exerts long-term beneficial effects on inflammatory immunity. Swimming training for 3 months in male mice starting from 1-month-old curbs cytokine response and mitigates sepsis when exposed to lipopolysaccharide challenge, even after an 11-month interval of detraining. Metabolomics analysis of serum and liver identifies pipecolic acid, a non-encoded amino acid, as a pivotal metabolite responding to early-life regular exercise. Importantly, pipecolic acid reduces inflammatory cytokines in bone marrow-derived macrophages and alleviates sepsis via inhibiting mTOR complex 1 signaling. Moreover, early-life exercise increases histone 3 lysine 4 trimethylation at the promoter of Crym in the liver, an enzyme responsible for catalyzing pipecolic acid production. Liver-specific knockdown of Crym in adult mice abolishes this early exercise-induced protective effects. Our findings demonstrate that early-life regular exercise enhances anti-inflammatory immunity during middle-aged phase in male mice via epigenetic immunometabolic modulation, in which hepatic pipecolic acid production has a pivotal function.
  12. medRxiv. 2024 Feb 22. pii: 2024.02.20.24303097. [Epub ahead of print]
      Objective: The Krebs cycle enzyme Aconitate Decarboxylase 1 (ACOD1) mediates itaconate synthesis in myeloid cells.. Previously, we reported that administration of 4-octyl itaconate abrogated lupus phenotype in mice. Here, we explore the role of the endogenous ACOD1/itaconate pathway in the development of murine lupus as well as their relevance in premature cardiovascular damage in SLE.Methods: We characterized Acod1 protein expression in bone marrow-derived macrophages and human monocyte-derived macrophages, following a TLR7 agonist (imiquimod, IMQ). Wild type and Acod1-/- mice were exposed to topical IMQ for 5 weeks to induce an SLE phenotype and immune dysregulation was quantified. Itaconate serum levels were quantified in SLE patients and associated to cardiometabolic parameters and disease activity.
    Results: ACOD1 was induced in mouse bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDM) and human monocyte-derived macrophages following in vitro TLR7 stimulation. This induction was partially dependent on type I Interferon receptor signaling and specific intracellular pathways. In the IMQ-induced mouse model of lupus, ACOD1 knockout (Acod1-/-) displayed disruptions of the splenic architecture, increased serum anti-dsDNA and proinflammatory cytokine levels, enhanced kidney immune complex deposition and proteinuria, when compared to the IMQ-treated WT mice. Consistent with these results, Acod1-/- BMDM exposed to IMQ showed higher proinflammatory features in vitro. Itaconate levels were decreased in SLE serum compared to healthy control sera, in association with specific perturbed cardiometabolic parameters and subclinical vascular disease.
    Conclusion: These findings suggest that the ACOD1/itaconate pathway plays important immunomodulatory and vasculoprotective roles in SLE, supporting the potential therapeutic role of itaconate analogs in autoimmune diseases.
  13. Front Immunol. 2024 ;15 1380476
      Obesity and chronic low-grade inflammation, often occurring together, significantly contribute to severe metabolic and inflammatory conditions like type 2 diabetes (T2D), cardiovascular disease (CVD), and cancer. A key player is elevated levels of gut dysbiosis-associated lipopolysaccharide (LPS), which disrupts metabolic and immune signaling leading to metabolic endotoxemia, while short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) beneficially regulate these processes during homeostasis. SCFAs not only safeguard the gut barrier but also exert metabolic and immunomodulatory effects via G protein-coupled receptor binding and epigenetic regulation. SCFAs are emerging as potential agents to counteract dysbiosis-induced epigenetic changes, specifically targeting metabolic and inflammatory genes through DNA methylation, histone acetylation, microRNAs (miRNAs), and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs). To assess whether SCFAs can effectively interrupt the detrimental cascade of obesity and inflammation, this review aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the current evidence for their clinical application. The review emphasizes factors influencing SCFA production, the intricate connections between metabolism, the immune system, and the gut microbiome, and the epigenetic mechanisms regulated by SCFAs that impact metabolism and the immune system.
    Keywords:  epigenetics; lipopolysaccharide; low-grade inflammation; obesity; short-chain fatty acids
  14. ACS Omega. 2024 Apr 02. 9(13): 15535-15546
      Genome-scale metabolic models (GEMs) are promising computational tools that contribute to elucidating host-virus interactions at the system level and developing therapeutic strategies against viral infection. In this study, the effect of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) on liver metabolism was investigated using integrated GEMs of human hepatocytes and SARS-CoV-2. They were generated for uninfected and infected hepatocytes using transcriptome data. Reporter metabolite analysis resulted in significant transcriptional changes around several metabolites involved in xenobiotics, drugs, arachidonic acid, and leukotriene metabolisms due to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Flux balance analysis and minimization of metabolic adjustment approaches unraveled possible virus-induced hepatocellular reprogramming in fatty acid, glycerophospholipid, sphingolipid cholesterol, and folate metabolisms, bile acid biosynthesis, and carnitine shuttle among others. Reaction knockout analysis provided critical reactions in glycolysis, oxidative phosphorylation, purine metabolism, and reactive oxygen species detoxification subsystems. Computational analysis also showed that administration of dopamine, glucosamine, D-xylose, cysteine, and (R)-3-hydroxybutanoate contributes to alleviating viral infection. In essence, the reconstructed host-virus GEM helps us understand metabolic programming and develop therapeutic strategies to battle SARS-CoV-2.
  15. Eur J Immunol. 2024 Apr 09. e2250342
      Natural killer (NK) cells are innate cytotoxic lymphocytes that contribute to immune responses against stressed, transformed, or infected cells. NK cell effector functions are regulated by microenvironmental factors, including cytokines, metabolites, and nutrients. Vitamin A is an essential micronutrient that plays an indispensable role in embryogenesis and development, but was also reported to regulate immune responses. However, the role of vitamin A in regulating NK cell functions remains poorly understood. Here, we show that the most prevalent vitamin A metabolite, all-trans retinoic acid (atRA), induces transcriptional and functional changes in NK cells leading to altered metabolism and reduced IFN-γ production in response to a wide range of stimuli. atRA-exposed NK cells display a reduced ability to support dendritic cell (DC) maturation and to eliminate immature DCs. Moreover, they support the polarization and proliferation of regulatory T cells. These results imply that in vitamin A-enriched environments, NK cells can acquire functions that might promote tolerogenic immunity and/or immunosuppression.
    Keywords:  IFN‐γ; NK cells; Regulatory T cells; Vitamin A; all‐trans retinoic acid
  16. Sci Rep. 2024 Apr 12. 14(1): 8507
      While cellular metabolism was proposed to be a driving factor of the activation and differentiation of B cells and the function of the resulting antibody-secreting cells (ASCs), the study of correlations between cellular metabolism and functionalities has been difficult due to the absence of technologies enabling the parallel measurement. Herein, we performed single-cell transcriptomics and introduced a direct concurrent functional and metabolic flux quantitation of individual murine B cells. Our transcriptomic data identified lactate metabolism as dynamic in ASCs, but antibody secretion did not correlate with lactate secretion rates (LSRs). Instead, our study of all splenic B cells during an immune response linked increased lactate metabolism with acidic intracellular pH and the upregulation of apoptosis. T cell-dependent responses increased LSRs, and added TLR4 agonists affected the magnitude and boosted LSRhigh B cells in vivo, while resulting in only a few immunoglobulin-G secreting cells (IgG-SCs). Therefore, our observations indicated that LSRhigh cells were not differentiating into IgG-SCs, and were rather removed due to apoptosis.
    Keywords:  Antibody secretion; Apoptosis; B cell differentiation; Cellular survival; Metabolic flux; Multilevel analysis; Single-cell analysis
  17. Phenomics. 2024 Feb;4(1): 81-89
      The immune system defends the body from infection and plays a vital role in a wide range of health conditions. Metabolism affects a series of physiological processes, including those linked to the function of human immune system. Cellular metabolism modulates immune cell activation and cytokine production. Understanding the relationship between metabolism and immune response has important implications for the development of immune-based therapeutics. However, the deployment of large-scale functional assays to investigate the metabolic regulation of immune response has been limited by the lack of standardized procedures. Here, we present a protocol for the analysis of immune response using standardized whole-blood stimulation with metabolism modulation. Diverse immune stimuli including pattern recognition receptor (PRR) ligands and microbial stimuli were incubated with fresh human whole blood. The metabolic inhibitors were used to modulate metabolic status in the immune cells. The variable immune responses after metabolic interventions were evaluated. We described in detail the main steps involved in the whole-blood stimulation and cytokines quantification, namely, collection and treatment of whole blood, preparation of samples and controls, cytokines detection, and stimulation with metabolic interventions. The metabolic inhibitors for anabolic pathways and catabolic pathways exert selective effects on the production of cytokines from immune cells. In addition to a robust and accurate assessment of immune response in cohort studies, the standardized whole-blood stimulation with metabolic regulation might provide new insights for modulating immunity.Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s43657-023-00114-0.
    Keywords:  Cytokines; Immune response; Immunometabolism; Whole blood stimulation
  18. FASEB J. 2024 Apr 15. 38(7): e23607
      Pathogenic Th17 cells play a crucial role in autoimmune diseases like uveitis and its animal model, experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU). Dimethyl itaconate (DMI) possesses potent anti-inflammatory effects. However, there is still a lack of knowledge about the role of DMI in regulating pathogenic Th17 cells and EAU. Here, we reported that intraperitoneal administration of DMI significantly inhibited the severity of EAU via selectively suppressing Th17 cell responses. In vitro antigen stimulation studies revealed that DMI dramatically decreased the frequencies and function of antigen-specific Th17, but not Th1, cells. Moreover, DMI hampered the differentiation of naive CD4+ T cells toward pathogenic Th17 cells. DMI-treated DCs produced less IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-23, and displayed an impaired ability to stimulate antigen-specific Th17 activation. Mechanistically, DMI activated the NRF2/HO-1 pathway and suppressed STAT3 signaling, which subsequently restrains p-STAT3 nuclear translocation, leading to decreased pathogenic Th17 cell responses. Thus, we have identified an important role for DMI in regulating pathogenic Th17 cells, supporting DMI as a promising therapy in Th17 cell-driven autoimmune diseases including uveitis.
    Keywords:  NRF2/STAT3 signaling; dendritic cells; dimethyl itaconate; experimental autoimmune uveitis; pathogenic Th17 cells
  19. J Agric Food Chem. 2024 Apr 10.
      Our previous studies have shown that Lactiplantibacillus plantarum DPUL-S164-derived indole-3-lactic acid (ILA) ameliorates intestinal epithelial cell barrier injury by activating aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) and nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) signaling pathways and promoting tight junction protein expression. This study further explored the crucial substances of L. plantarum DPUL-S164 in alleviating intestinal barrier damage in mice through a dextran sodium sulfate-induced ulcerative colitis mouse model. Compared to dead L. plantarum DPUL-S164 (D-S164), live L. plantarum DPUL-S164 (S164) and its tryptophan metabolite, ILA, showed an effective ameliorating effect on the intestinal barrier injury of mice treated by antibiotic cocktail and sodium dextran sulfate, suggesting that the crucial substances of L. plantarum DPUL-S164 ameliorating intestinal barrier injury are its extracellular metabolites. Furthermore, S164 and its tryptophan metabolite, ILA, ameliorate intestinal barrier injury and suppress intestinal inflammation by activating the AhR-Nrf2 pathway and inhibiting the nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-κB) pathway. These results suggest that L. plantarum DPUL-S164 ameliorates intestinal epithelial barrier damage in mice, primarily by producing ILA as a ligand to activate the AhR pathway.
    Keywords:  Lactiplantibacillus plantarum; aryl hydrocarbon receptor; indole-3-lactic acid; intestinal barrier function; tryptophan metabolism
  20. Elife. 2024 Apr 11. pii: e85964. [Epub ahead of print]13
      Stains are known to be anti-inflammatory, but the mechanism remains poorly understood. Here we show that macrophages, either treated with statin in vitro or from statin-treated mice, have reduced cholesterol levels and higher expression of Jmjd3, a H3K27me3 demethylase. We provide evidence that lowering cholesterol levels in macrophages suppresses the ATP synthase in the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM) and changes the proton gradient in the mitochondria. This activates NFkB and Jmjd3 expression to remove the repressive marker H3K27me3. Accordingly, the epigenome is altered by the cholesterol reduction. When subsequently challenged by the inflammatory stimulus LPS (M1), both macrophages treated with statins in vitro or isolated from statin-treated mice in vivo, express lower levels pro-inflammatory cytokines than controls, while augmenting anti-inflammatory Il10 expression. On the other hand, when macrophages are alternatively activated by IL4 (M2), statins promote the expression of Arg1, Ym1, and Mrc1. The enhanced expression is correlated with the statin-induced removal of H3K27me3 from these genes prior to activation. In addition, Jmjd3 and its demethylase activity are necessary for cholesterol to modulate both M1 and M2 activation. We conclude that upregulation of Jmjd3 is a key event for the anti-inflammatory function of statins on macrophages.
    Keywords:  cell biology; mouse
  21. Redox Biol. 2024 Apr 03. pii: S2213-2317(24)00125-3. [Epub ahead of print]72 103149
      Macrophage cholesterol homeostasis is crucial for health and disease and has been linked to the lipid-peroxidizing enzyme arachidonate 15-lipoxygenase type B (ALOX15B), albeit molecular mechanisms remain obscure. We performed global transcriptome and immunofluorescence analysis in ALOX15B-silenced primary human macrophages and observed a reduction of nuclear sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP) 2, the master transcription factor of cellular cholesterol biosynthesis. Consequently, SREBP2-target gene expression was reduced as were the sterol biosynthetic intermediates desmosterol and lathosterol as well as 25- and 27-hydroxycholesterol. Mechanistically, suppression of ALOX15B reduced lipid peroxidation in primary human macrophages and thereby attenuated activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase ERK1/2, which lowered SREBP2 abundance and activity. Low nuclear SREBP2 rendered both, ALOX15B-silenced and ERK1/2-inhibited macrophages refractory to SREBP2 activation upon blocking the NPC intracellular cholesterol transporter 1. These studies suggest a regulatory mechanism controlling macrophage cholesterol homeostasis based on ALOX15B-mediated lipid peroxidation and concomitant ERK1/2 activation.
    Keywords:  15-LO2; Arachidonate 15-lipoxygenase type B; Lipid peroxidation; MAPK; Reactive oxygen species; Sterol regulatory element-binding protein 2
  22. Nat Metab. 2024 Apr 11.
      The obesity epidemic continues to worsen worldwide, driving metabolic and chronic inflammatory diseases. Thiazolidinediones, such as rosiglitazone (Rosi), are PPARγ agonists that promote 'M2-like' adipose tissue macrophage (ATM) polarization and cause insulin sensitization. As ATM-derived small extracellular vesicles (ATM-sEVs) from lean mice are known to increase insulin sensitivity, we assessed the metabolic effects of ATM-sEVs from Rosi-treated obese male mice (Rosi-ATM-sEVs). Here we show that Rosi leads to improved glucose and insulin tolerance, transcriptional repolarization of ATMs and increased sEV secretion. Administration of Rosi-ATM-sEVs rescues obesity-induced glucose intolerance and insulin sensitivity in vivo without the known thiazolidinedione-induced adverse effects of weight gain or haemodilution. Rosi-ATM-sEVs directly increase insulin sensitivity in adipocytes, myotubes and primary mouse and human hepatocytes. Additionally, we demonstrate that the miRNAs within Rosi-ATM-sEVs, primarily miR-690, are responsible for these beneficial metabolic effects. Thus, using ATM-sEVs with specific miRNAs may provide a therapeutic path to induce insulin sensitization.
  23. J Nutr. 2024 Apr 04. pii: S0022-3166(24)00174-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) controls the biophysical organization of plasma membrane sphingolipid/cholesterol-enriched lipid rafts to exert anti-inflammatory effects, particularly in lymphocytes. However, the impact of DHA on the spatial arrangement of alveolar macrophage lipid rafts and inflammation is unknown.OBJECTIVE: The primary objective was to determine how DHA controls lipid raft organization and function of alveolar macrophages. As proof-of-concept, we also investigated DHA's anti-inflammatory effects on select pulmonary inflammatory markers with a murine influenza model.
    METHODS: MH-S cells, an alveolar macrophage line, were treated with 50 μM DHA or vehicle control and used to study plasma membrane molecular organization with fluorescence-based methods. Biomimetic membranes and coarse grain molecular dynamic (MD) simulations were employed to investigate how DHA mechanistically controls lipid raft size. qRT-PCR, mass spectrometry, and ELISAs were used to respectively quantify downstream inflammatory signaling transcripts, oxylipins, and cytokines. Lungs from DHA-fed influenza infected mice were analyzed for specific inflammatory markers.
    RESULTS: DHA increased the size of lipid rafts while decreasing the molecular packing of the MH-S plasma membrane. The addition of a DHA-containing phospholipid to a biomimetic lipid raft-containing membrane led to condensing, which was reversed with the removal of cholesterol. MD simulations revealed DHA nucleated lipid rafts by driving cholesterol and sphingomyelin into rafts. Downstream of the plasma membrane, DHA lowered the concentration of select inflammatory transcripts, oxylipins, and IL-6 secretion. DHA lowered pulmonary Il6 and Tnf-α mRNA expression and increased anti-inflammatory oxylipins of influenza infected mice.
    CONCLUSIONS: The data suggest a model in which the localization of DHA acyl chains to non-rafts is driving sphingomyelin and cholesterol molecules into larger lipid rafts, which may serve as a trigger to impede signaling and lower inflammation. These findings also identify alveolar macrophages as a target of DHA and underscore the anti-inflammatory properties of DHA for lung inflammation.
    Keywords:  Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); eicosanoids; inflammatory transcripts; lipid rafts; pulmonary macrophages
  24. Front Immunol. 2024 ;15 1362995
      Introduction: Common Variable Immunodeficiency (CVID) patients are characterized by hypogammaglobulinemia and poor response to vaccination due to deficient generation of memory and antibody-secreting B cells. B lymphocytes are essential for the development of humoral immune responses, and mitochondrial function, hreactive oxygen species (ROS) production and autophagy are crucial for determining B-cell fate. However, the role of those basic cell functions in the differentiation of human B cells remains poorly investigated.Methods: We used flow cytometry to evaluate mitochondrial function, ROS production and autophagy processes in human naïve and memory B-cell subpopulations in unstimulated and stimulated PBMCs cultures. We aimed to determine whether any alterations in these processes could impact B-cell fate and contribute to the lack of B-cell differentiation observed in CVID patients.
    Results: We described that naïve CD19+CD27- and memory CD19+CD27+ B cells subpopulations from healthy controls differ in terms of their dependence on these processes for their homeostasis, and demonstrated that different stimuli exert a preferential cell type dependent effect. The evaluation of mitochondrial function, ROS production and autophagy in naïve and memory B cells from CVID patients disclosed subpopulation specific alterations. Dysfunctional mitochondria and autophagy were more prominent in unstimulated CVID CD19+CD27- and CD19+CD27+ B cells than in their healthy counterparts. Although naïve CD19+CD27- B cells from CVID patients had higher basal ROS levels than controls, their ROS increase after stimulation was lower, suggesting a disruption in ROS homeostasis. On the other hand, memory CD19+CD27+ B cells from CVID patients had both lower ROS basal levels and a diminished ROS production after stimulation with anti-B cell receptor (BCR) and IL-21.
    Conclusion: The failure in ROS cell signalling could impair CVID naïve B cell activation and differentiation to memory B cells. Decreased levels of ROS in CVID memory CD19+CD27+ B cells, which negatively correlate with their in vitro cell death and autophagy, could be detrimental and lead to their previously demonstrated premature death. The final consequence would be the failure to generate a functional B cell compartment in CVID patients.
    Keywords:  B cells; CVID; ROS; autophagy; mitochondria
  25. Redox Biol. 2024 Apr 03. pii: S2213-2317(24)00127-7. [Epub ahead of print]72 103151
      Salmonella infection entails a cascade of attacks and defence measures. After breaching the intestinal epithelial barrier, Salmonella is phagocytosed by macrophages, where the bacteria encounter multiple stresses, to which it employs relevant countermeasures. Our study shows that, in Salmonella, the polyamine spermidine activates a stress response mechanism by regulating critical antioxidant genes. Salmonella Typhimurium mutants for spermidine transport and synthesis cannot mount an antioxidative response, resulting in high intracellular ROS levels. These mutants are also compromised in their ability to be phagocytosed by macrophages. Furthermore, it regulates a novel enzyme in Salmonella, Glutathionyl-spermidine synthetase (GspSA), which prevents the oxidation of proteins in E. coli. Moreover, the spermidine mutants and the GspSA mutant show significantly reduced survival in the presence of hydrogen peroxide in vitro and reduced organ burden in the mouse model of Salmonella infection. Conversely, in macrophages isolated from gp91phox-/- mice, we observed a rescue in the attenuated fold proliferation previously observed upon infection. We found that Salmonella upregulates polyamine biosynthesis in the host through its effectors from SPI-1 and SPI-2, which addresses the attenuated proliferation observed in spermidine transport mutants. Thus, inhibition of this pathway in the host abrogates the proliferation of Salmonella Typhimurium in macrophages. From a therapeutic perspective, inhibiting host polyamine biosynthesis using an FDA-approved chemopreventive drug, D, L-α-difluoromethylornithine (DFMO), reduces Salmonella colonisation and tissue damage in the mouse model of infection while enhancing the survival of infected mice. Therefore, our work provides a mechanistic insight into the critical role of spermidine in stress resistance of Salmonella. It also reveals a bacterial strategy in modulating host metabolism to promote their intracellular survival and shows the potential of DFMO to curb Salmonella infection.
    Keywords:  Antioxidative response; D; Glutathionyl-spermidine synthetase; L-α-difluoromethylornithine; Macrophages; Spermidine
  26. Sci Rep. 2024 04 10. 14(1): 8379
      Macrophage responses to activation are fluid and dynamic in their ability to respond appropriately to challenges, a role integral to host defence. While bacteria can influence macrophage differentiation and polarization into pro-inflammatory and alternatively activated phenotypes through direct interactions, many questions surround indirect communication mechanisms mediated through secretomes derived from gut bacteria, such as lactobacilli. We examined effects of secretome-mediated conditioning on THP-1 human monocytes, focusing on the ability of the Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus R0011 secretome (LrS) to drive macrophage differentiation and polarization and prime immune responses to subsequent challenge with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Genome-wide transcriptional profiling revealed increased M2-associated gene transcription in response to LrS conditioning in THP-1 cells. Cytokine and chemokine profiling confirmed these results, indicating increased M2-associated chemokine and cytokine production (IL-1Ra, IL-10). These cells had increased cell-surface marker expression of CD11b, CD86, and CX3CR1, coupled with reduced expression of the M1 macrophage-associated marker CD64. Mitochondrial substrate utilization assays indicated diminished reliance on glycolytic substrates, coupled with increased utilization of citric acid cycle intermediates, characteristics of functional M2 activity. LPS challenge of LrS-conditioned THP-1s revealed heightened responsiveness, indicative of innate immune priming. Resting stage THP-1 macrophages co-conditioned with LrS and retinoic acid also displayed an immunoregulatory phenotype with expression of CD83, CD11c and CD103 and production of regulatory cytokines. Secretome-mediated conditioning of macrophages into an immunoregulatory phenotype is an uncharacterized and potentially important route through which lactic acid bacteria and the gut microbiota may train and shape innate immunity at the gut-mucosal interface.
  27. Nat Cell Biol. 2024 Apr 08.
      The cellular lipidome comprises thousands of unique lipid species. Here, using mass spectrometry-based targeted lipidomics, we characterize the lipid landscape of human and mouse immune cells ( ). Using this resource, we show that immune cells have unique lipidomic signatures and that processes such as activation, maturation and development impact immune cell lipid composition. To demonstrate the potential of this resource to provide insights into immune cell biology, we determine how a cell-specific lipid trait-differences in the abundance of polyunsaturated fatty acid-containing glycerophospholipids (PUFA-PLs)-influences immune cell biology. First, we show that differences in PUFA-PL content underpin the differential susceptibility of immune cells to ferroptosis. Second, we show that low PUFA-PL content promotes resistance to ferroptosis in activated neutrophils. In summary, we show that the lipid landscape is a defining feature of immune cell identity and that cell-specific lipid phenotypes underpin aspects of immune cell physiology.
  28. Inflamm Res. 2024 Apr 09.
      BACKGROUND: L-Tryptophan (L-Trp), an essential amino acid, is the only amino acid whose level is regulated specifically by immune signals. Most proportions of Trp are catabolized via the kynurenine (Kyn) pathway (KP) which has evolved to align the food availability and environmental stimulation with the host pathophysiology and behavior. Especially, the KP plays an indispensable role in balancing the immune activation and tolerance in response to pathogens.SCOPE OF REVIEW: In this review, we elucidate the underlying immunological regulatory network of Trp and its KP-dependent catabolites in the pathophysiological conditions by participating in multiple signaling pathways. Furthermore, the KP-based regulatory roles, biomarkers, and therapeutic strategies in pathologically immune disorders are summarized covering from acute to chronic infection and inflammation.
    MAJOR CONCLUSIONS: The immunosuppressive effects dominate the functions of KP induced-Trp depletion and KP-produced metabolites during infection and inflammation. However, the extending minor branches from the KP are not confined to the immune tolerance, instead they go forward to various functions according to the specific condition. Nevertheless, persistent efforts should be made before the clinical use of KP-based strategies to monitor and cure infectious and inflammatory diseases.
    Keywords:  De novo NAD+ biosynthesis; Immune tolerance; Infection and inflammation; Kynurenine pathway; Tryptophan catabolism
  29. Nat Microbiol. 2024 Apr 08.
      Prokaryotic antiviral defence systems are frequently toxic for host cells and stringent regulation is required to ensure survival and fitness. These systems must be readily available in case of infection but tightly controlled to prevent activation of an unnecessary cellular response. Here we investigate how the bacterial cyclic oligonucleotide-based antiphage signalling system (CBASS) uses its intrinsic protein modification system to regulate the nucleotide cyclase. By integrating a type II CBASS system from Bacillus cereus into the model organism Bacillus subtilis, we show that the protein-conjugating Cap2 (CBASS associated protein 2) enzyme links the cyclase exclusively to the conserved phage shock protein A (PspA) in the absence of phage. The cyclase-PspA conjugation is reversed by the deconjugating isopeptidase Cap3 (CBASS associated protein 3). We propose a model in which the cyclase is held in an inactive state by conjugation to PspA in the absence of phage, with conjugation released upon infection, priming the cyclase for activation.