Research ArticleIMMUNOLOGY

Macrophage miR-210 induction and metabolic reprogramming in response to pathogen interaction boost life-threatening inflammation

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Science Advances  07 May 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 19, eabf0466
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abf0466


Unbalanced immune responses to pathogens can be life-threatening although the underlying regulatory mechanisms remain unknown. Here, we show a hypoxia-inducible factor 1α–dependent microRNA (miR)–210 up-regulation in monocytes and macrophages upon pathogen interaction. MiR-210 knockout in the hematopoietic lineage or in monocytes/macrophages mitigated the symptoms of endotoxemia, bacteremia, sepsis, and parasitosis, limiting the cytokine storm, organ damage/dysfunction, pathogen spreading, and lethality. Similarly, pharmacologic miR-210 inhibition improved the survival of septic mice. Mechanistically, miR-210 induction in activated macrophages supported a switch toward a proinflammatory state by lessening mitochondria respiration in favor of glycolysis, partly achieved by downmodulating the iron-sulfur cluster assembly enzyme ISCU. In humans, augmented miR-210 levels in circulating monocytes correlated with the incidence of sepsis, while serum levels of monocyte/macrophage-derived miR-210 were associated with sepsis mortality. Together, our data identify miR-210 as a fine-tuning regulator of macrophage metabolism and inflammatory responses, suggesting miR-210–based therapeutic and diagnostic strategies.

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