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Sci Transl Med. 2015 Feb 11;7(274):274ra18. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaa0835.

Normalization of CD4+ T cell metabolism reverses lupus.

Author information

1
Department of Pathology, Immunology, and Laboratory Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA.
2
Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Department of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA.
3
Department of Pathology, Immunology, and Laboratory Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA. morel@ufl.edu.

Abstract

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease in which autoreactive CD4(+) T cells play an essential role. CD4(+) T cells rely on glycolysis for inflammatory effector functions, but recent studies have shown that mitochondrial metabolism supports their chronic activation. How these processes contribute to lupus is unclear. We show that both glycolysis and mitochondrial oxidative metabolism are elevated in CD4(+) T cells from lupus-prone B6.Sle1.Sle2.Sle3 (TC) mice as compared to non-autoimmune controls. In vitro, both the mitochondrial metabolism inhibitor metformin and the glucose metabolism inhibitor 2-deoxy-d-glucose (2DG) reduced interferon-γ (IFN-γ) production, although at different stages of activation. Metformin also restored the defective interleukin-2 (IL-2) production by TC CD4(+) T cells. In vivo, treatment of TC mice and other lupus models with a combination of metformin and 2DG normalized T cell metabolism and reversed disease biomarkers. Further, CD4(+) T cells from SLE patients also exhibited enhanced glycolysis and mitochondrial metabolism that correlated with their activation status, and their excessive IFN-γ production was significantly reduced by metformin in vitro. These results suggest that normalization of T cell metabolism through the dual inhibition of glycolysis and mitochondrial metabolism is a promising therapeutic venue for SLE.

PMID:
25673763
PMCID:
PMC5292723
DOI:
10.1126/scitranslmed.aaa0835
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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