Innate immune responses are intricately linked with intracellular metabolism of myeloid cells. Toll-like receptor (TLR) stimulation shifts intracellular metabolism toward glycolysis, while anti-inflammatory signals depend on enhanced mitochondrial respiration. How exogenous metabolic signals affect the immune response is unknown. We demonstrate that TLR-dependent responses of dendritic cells (DCs) are exacerbated by a high-fatty-acid (FA) metabolic environment. FAs suppress the TLR-induced hexokinase activity and perturb tricarboxylic acid cycle metabolism. These metabolic changes enhance mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mtROS) production and, in turn, the unfolded protein response (UPR), leading to a distinct transcriptomic signature with IL-23 as hallmark. Interestingly, chemical or genetic suppression of glycolysis was sufficient to induce this specific immune response. Conversely, reducing mtROS production or DC-specific deficiency in XBP1 attenuated IL-23 expression and skin inflammation in an IL-23-dependent model of psoriasis. Thus, fine-tuning of innate immunity depends on optimization of metabolic demands and minimization of mtROS-induced UPR.
Keywords: IL-23; UPR; dendritic cells; fatty acids; glycolysis; hexokinase; innate immunity; metabolic reprogramming; mtROS; psoriasis.
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