Glycolytic metabolism is essential for CCR7 oligomerization and dendritic cell migration

Nat Commun. 2018 Jun 25;9(1):2463. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-04804-6.


Dendritic cells (DCs) are first responders of the innate immune system that integrate signals from external stimuli to direct context-specific immune responses. Current models suggest that an active switch from mitochondrial metabolism to glycolysis accompanies DC activation to support the anabolic requirements of DC function. We show that early glycolytic activation is a common program for both strong and weak stimuli, but that weakly activated DCs lack long-term HIF-1α-dependent glycolytic reprogramming and retain mitochondrial oxidative metabolism. Early induction of glycolysis is associated with activation of AKT, TBK, and mTOR, and sustained activation of these pathways is associated with long-term glycolytic reprogramming. We show that inhibition of glycolysis impaired maintenance of elongated cell shape, DC motility, CCR7 oligomerization, and DC migration to draining lymph nodes. Together, our results indicate that early induction of glycolysis occurs independent of pro-inflammatory phenotype, and that glycolysis supports DC migratory ability regardless of mitochondrial bioenergetics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Movement / immunology*
  • Cell Shape / physiology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Dendritic Cells / physiology
  • Female
  • Glycolysis / physiology*
  • Lymph Nodes / cytology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Oxidative Phosphorylation*
  • Receptors, CCR7 / metabolism*


  • Ccr7 protein, mouse
  • Receptors, CCR7