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.
Cell. 2019 Apr 19. pii: S0092-8674(19)30280-6. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2019.03.018. [Epub ahead of print]