Interleukin 17A (IL-17A) is a proinflammatory cytokine involved in the pathogenesis of chronic inflammatory diseases. In the field of immunometabolism, we have studied the impact of IL-17A on the lipid metabolism of human in vitro-generated monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DCs). Microarrays and lipidomic analysis revealed an intense remodeling of lipid metabolism induced by IL-17A in DCs. IL-17A increased 2-12 times the amounts of phospholipids, cholesterol, triglycerides, and cholesteryl esters in DCs. Palmitic (16:0), stearic (18:0), and oleic (18:ln-9c) acid were the main fatty acid chains present in DCs. They were strongly increased in response to IL-17A while their relative proportion remained unchanged. Capture of extracellular lipids was the major mechanism of lipid droplet accumulation, visualized by electron microscopy and Oil Red O staining. Besides this foamy phenotype, IL-17A induced a mixed macrophage-DC phenotype and expression of the nuclear receptor NR1H3/liver X receptor-α, previously identified in the context of atherosclerosis as the master regulator of cholesterol homeostasis in macrophages. These IL-17A-treated DCs were as competent as untreated DCs to stimulate allogeneic naive T-cell proliferation. Following this first characterization of lipid-rich DCs, we propose to call these IL-17A-dependent cells "foamy DCs" and discuss the possible existence of foamy DCs in atherosclerosis, a metabolic and inflammatory disorder involving IL-17A.
Keywords: immunology; immunometabolism; inflammation; interleukin 17A; lipid; lipidomics; microarrays; monocytes.
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