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Most macrophages generate energy to mount an inflammatory cytokine response by increased glucose metabolism through intracellular glycolysis. Previous studies have suggested that alveolar macrophages (AMs), which reside in a glucose-poor natural environment, are less capable to utilize glycolysis and instead rely on other substrates to fuel oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) for energy supply. At present, it is not known whether AMs are capable to use glucose metabolism to produce cytokines when other metabolic options are blocked. Here, we studied human AMs retrieved by bronchoalveolar lavage from healthy subjects, and examined their glucose metabolism in response to activation by the gram-negative bacterial component lipopolysaccharide (LPS) ex vivo. The immunological and metabolic responses of AMs were compared to those of cultured blood monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs) from the same subjects. LPS stimulation enhanced cytokine release by both AMs and MDMs, which was associated with increased lactate release by MDMs (reflecting glycolysis), but not by AMs. In agreement, LPS induced higher mRNA expression of multiple glycolytic regulators in MDMs, but not in AMs. Flux analyses of [13C]-glucose revealed no differences in [13C]-incorporation in glucose metabolism intermediates in AMs. Inhibition of OXPHOS by oligomycin strongly reduced LPS-induced cytokine production by AMs, but not by MDMs. Collectively, these results indicate that human AMs, in contrast to MDMs, do not use glucose metabolism during LPS-induced activation and fully rely on OXPHOS for cytokine production. Copyright © 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Liza Pereverzeva, Christine C A van Linge, Alex R Schuurman, Augustijn M Klarenbeek, Ivan Ramirez Moral, Natasja A Otto, Hessel Peters-Sengers, Joe M Butler, Bauke V Schomakers, Michel van Weeghel, Riekelt H Houtkooper, W Joost Wiersinga, Peter I Bonta, Jouke T Annema, Alex F de Vos, Tom van der Poll. Human alveolar macrophages do not rely on glucose metabolism upon activation by lipopolysaccharide. Biochimica et biophysica acta. Molecular basis of disease. 2022 Oct 01;1868(10):166488

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PMID: 35835414

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