Vitamin D has long been linked to resistance to tuberculosis, an infectious respiratory disease that is increasingly hard to treat because of multidrug resistance. Previous work established that vitamin D induces macrophage antimicrobial functions against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In this article, we report a novel, metabolic role for vitamin D in tuberculosis identified through integrated transcriptome and mechanistic studies. Transcriptome analysis revealed an association between vitamin D receptor (VDR) and lipid metabolism in human tuberculosis and infected macrophages. Vitamin D treatment of infected macrophages abrogated infection-induced accumulation of lipid droplets, which are required for intracellular M. tuberculosis growth. Additional transcriptomics results showed that vitamin D downregulates the proadipogenic peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) in infected macrophages. PPARγ agonists reversed the antiadipogenic and the antimicrobial effects of VDR, indicating a link between VDR and PPARγ signaling in regulating both vitamin D functions. These findings suggest the potential for host-based, adjunct antituberculosis therapy targeting lipid metabolism.
Copyright © 2014 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.