Metabolic reprogramming powers and polarizes macrophage functions, but the nature and regulation of this response during infection with pathogens remain controversial. In this study, we characterize the metabolic and transcriptional responses of murine macrophages to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) in order to disentangle the underlying mechanisms. We find that type I interferon (IFN) signaling correlates with the decreased glycolysis and mitochondrial damage that is induced by live, but not killed, Mtb. Macrophages lacking the type I IFN receptor (IFNAR) maintain glycolytic flux and mitochondrial function during Mtb infection in vitro and in vivo. IFNβ itself restrains the glycolytic shift of inflammatory macrophages and initiates mitochondrial stress. We confirm that type I IFN acts upstream of mitochondrial damage using macrophages lacking the protein STING. We suggest that a type I IFN-mitochondrial feedback loop controls macrophage responses to mycobacteria and that this could contribute to pathogenesis across a range of diseases.
Keywords: STING; immunometabolism; macrophage; mitochondria; mycobacteria; tuberculosis; type I interferon.
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