Lactate reduces liver and pancreatic injury in Toll-like receptor- and inflammasome-mediated inflammation via GPR81-mediated suppression of innate immunity

Rafaz Hoque, Ahmad Farooq, Ayaz Ghani, Fred Gorelick, Wajahat Zafar Mehal
Gastroenterology 2014, 146 (7): 1763-74

BACKGROUND & AIMS: The NACHT, LRR, and pyrin domain-containing protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome induces inflammation in response to organ injury, but little is known about its regulation. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) provide the first signal required for activation of the inflammasome and stimulate aerobic glycolysis to generate lactate. We examined whether lactate and the lactate receptor, Gi-protein-coupled receptor 81 (GPR81), regulate TLR induction of signal 1 and limit inflammasome activation and organ injury.

METHODS: Primary mouse macrophages and human monocytes were incubated with TLR4 agonists and lactate and assayed for levels of pro-interleukin (IL)1β, NLRP3, and caspase-1 (CASP1); release of IL1β; and activation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and caspase-1. Small interfering RNAs were used to reduce levels of GPR81 and arrestin β-2 (ARRB2), and an NF-κB luciferase reporter transgene was transfected in RAW 264.7 cells. Cell lysates were analyzed by immunoprecipitation with an antibody against GPR81. Acute hepatitis was induced in C56BL/6N mice by administration of lipopolysaccharide and D-galactosamine. Acute pancreatitis was induced by administration of lipopolysaccharide and cerulein. Some mice were given intraperitoneal injections of sodium lactate or small interfering RNA against Gpr81. Activation of NF-κB in tissue macrophages was assessed in mice that expressed a reporter transgene.

RESULTS: In macrophages and monocytes, increasing concentrations of lactate reduced TLR4-mediated induction of Il1B, Nlrp3, and Casp1; activation of NF-κB; release of IL1β; and cleavage of CASP1. GPR81 and ARRB2 physically interacted and were required for these effects. The administration of lactate reduced inflammation and organ injury in mice with immune hepatitis; this reduction required Gpr81 dependence in vivo. Lactate also prevented activation of NF-κB in macrophages of mice, and, when given after injury, reduced the severity of acute pancreatitis and acute liver injury.

CONCLUSIONS: Lactate negatively regulates TLR induction of the NLRP3 inflammasome and production of IL1β, via ARRB2 and GPR81. Lactate could be a promising immunomodulatory therapy for patients with acute organ injury.

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