Biphasic Dynamics of Macrophage Immunometabolism during Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infection.mBio 2019; 10(2)MBIO
Macrophages are the primary targets of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection; the early events of macrophage interaction with M. tuberculosis define subsequent progression and outcome of infection. M. tuberculosis can alter the innate immunity of macrophages, resulting in suboptimal Th1 immunity, which contributes to the survival, persistence, and eventual dissemination of the pathogen. Recent advances in immunometabolism illuminate the intimate link between the metabolic states of immune cells and their specific functions. In this review, we describe the little-studied biphasic metabolic dynamics of the macrophage response during progression of infection by M. tuberculosis and discuss their relevance to macrophage immunity and M. tuberculosis pathogenicity. The early phase of macrophage infection, which is marked by M1 polarization, is accompanied by a metabolic switch from mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation to hypoxia-inducible factor 1 alpha (HIF-1α)-mediated aerobic glycolysis (also known as the Warburg effect in cancer cells), as well as by an upregulation of pathways involving oxidative and antioxidative defense responses, arginine metabolism, and synthesis of bioactive lipids. These early metabolic changes are followed by a late adaptation/resolution phase in which macrophages transition from glycolysis to mitochondrial oxidative metabolism, with a consequent dampening of macrophage proinflammatory and antimicrobial responses. Importantly, the identification of upregulated metabolic pathways and/or metabolic regulatory mechanisms with immunomodulatory functions during M1 polarization has revealed novel mechanisms of M. tuberculosis pathogenicity. These advances can lead to the development of novel host-directed therapies to facilitate bacterial clearance in tuberculosis by targeting the metabolic state of immune cells.