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Title: Characterisation of the effect and functional significance of Fcγ receptor crosslinking on metabolic processes in macrophages
Author: Jing, Chenzhi
ISNI:       0000 0004 7426 5781
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2018
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The metabolic state of an immune cell directly influences its ability to function and differentiate, ultimately affecting immunity, inflammation and tolerance. Different immune cell subsets have differing metabolic requirements. Macrophages, as the frontline, tissue-resident cells of the innate immune system, undergo profound metabolic reprogramming in response to environmental stimuli. To date, there has been little consideration how macrophage metabolism might be affected by humoral immunity. IgG antibodies are the soluble effector molecules of the adaptive humoral immune system. Fcγ receptors (FcγRs) mediate the cellular functions of IgG antibodies and are expressed on most immune cells including macrophages. FcγR cross-linking induced by IgG immune complexes (ICs) is important for defence against some infections but can also play a pathogenic role in autoimmunity. Here, I studied the metabolic reprogramming induced in macrophages by IgG IC ligation of FcγRs. I first investigated how FcγRs cross-linking might impact glucose metabolism. We show that macrophages undergo a switch to glycolysis in response to IgG IC stimulation. FcγR-associated glycolysis was dependent on the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)1α. Moreover, this glycolytic switch was required to generate a number of pro-inflammatory mediators and cytokines. Inhibition of glycolysis, or genetic depletion of HIF1α in macrophages resulted in the attenuation of IL1β and other inflammatory mediators produced in response to IgG IC in vitro. To determine the relevance of these observations to responses to IgG IC in vivo and, in particular, to IC-associated tissue inflammation in autoimmune diseases such as system lupus erythematosus (SLE), I developed three models to interrogate tissue macrophages. Following administration of IC to peritoneal macrophages, I observed IL1β-associated neutrophil recruitment that was abrogated by inhibiting glycolysis, or in the presence of HIF-1a deficiency. Similarly, following administration of intravenous IC, or nephrotoxic serum, kidney macrophage activation was abrogated by glycolysis inhibition or by myeloid HIF-1a deficiency. Together my data reveal the cellular molecular mechanisms required for FcγR-mediated metabolic reprogramming in macrophages and define a novel therapeutic strategy in autoantibody-induced inflammation. In the final part of the thesis I identified additional metabolic pathways that were altered by FcγR ligation, including cholesterol biosynthesis and fatty acid biosynthesis. This has important implications for protective immune responses and autoimmune susceptibility, since a number of intermediates in these pathways can directly regulate and contribute to immune responses. In summary, I have demonstrated the metabolic alterations triggered by FcγR ligation, reveal the cellular molecular mechanisms required for FcγR-mediated cellular respiration reprogramming in macrophages and define a potential therapeutic target in autoimmunity.
Supervisor: Clatworthy, Menna Sponsor: China Scholarship Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Metabolism ; Macrophages ; Immune complex ; Glycolysis ; Cholesterol ; Fc? receptor ; Metabolic reprogramming ; System lupus erythematosus ; Cell migration ; Interleukine-1ß