PPARg deficiency suppresses the release of IL-1b and IL-1a in macrophages via a type 1 IFN-dependent mechanism

Kassandra J. Weber, Madeline Sauer, Li He, Eric Tycksen, Gowri Kalugotla, Babak Razani, Joel D. Schilling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Obesity and diabetes modulate macrophage activation, often leading to prolonged inflammation and dysfunctional tissue repair. Increasing evidence suggests that the NLRP3 inflammasome plays an important role in obesity-associated inflammation. We have previously shown that activation of the lipotoxic inflammasome by excess fatty acids in macrophages occurs via a lysosome-dependent pathway. However, the mechanisms that link cellular lipid metabolism to altered inflammation remain poorly understood. PPARg is a nuclear receptor transcription factor expressed by macrophages that is known to alter lipid handling, mitochondrial function, and inflammatory cytokine expression. To undercover novel links between metabolic signaling and lipotoxic inflammasome activation, we investigated mouse primary macrophages deficient in PPARg. Contrary to our expectation, PPARg knockout (KO) macrophages released significantly less IL-1b and IL-1a in response to lipotoxic stimulation. The suppression occurred at the transcriptional level and was apparent for multiple activators of the NLRP3 inflammasome. RNA sequencing revealed upregulation of IFN-b in activated PPARgKO macrophages, and this was confirmed at the protein level. A blocking Ab against the type 1 IFNR restored the release of IL-1b to wild type levels in PPARgKO cells, confirming the mechanistic link between these events. Conversely, PPARg activation with rosiglitazone selectively suppressed IFN-b expression in activated macrophages. Loss of PPARg also resulted in diminished expression of genes involved in sterol biosynthesis, a pathway known to influence IFN production. Together, these findings demonstrate a cross-talk pathway that influences the interplay between metabolism and inflammation in macrophages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2054-2069
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018


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