Sustained high glucose exposure sensitizes macrophage responses to cytokine stimuli but reduces their phagocytic activity

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Macrophages are tissue resident immune cells important for host defence and homeostasis. During diabetes, macrophages and other innate immune cells are known to have a pro-inflammatory phenotype, which is believed to contribute to the pathogenesis of various diabetic complications. However, diabetic patients are highly susceptible to bacterial infections, and often have impaired wound healing. The molecular mechanism underlying the paradox of macrophage function in diabetes is not fully understood. Recent evidence suggests that macrophage functions are governed by metabolic reprograming. Diabetes is a disorder that affects glucose metabolism; dysregulated macrophage function in diabetes may be related to alterations in their metabolic pathways. In this study, we seek to understand the effect of high glucose exposure on macrophage phenotype and functions.

Bone marrow cells were cultured in short or long term high glucose and normal glucose medium; the number and phenotype of bone marrow derived macrophages were not affected by long-term high glucose treatment. Short-term high glucose increased the expression of IL-1β. Long-term high glucose increased the expression of IL-1β and TNFα but reduced the expression of IL-12p40 and nitric oxide production in M1 macrophage. The treatment also increased Arg-1 and IL-10 expression in M2 macrophages. Phagocytosis and bactericidal activity was reduced in long-term high glucose treated macrophages and peritoneal macrophages from diabetic mice. Long-term high glucose treatment reduced macrophage glycolytic capacity and glycolytic reserve without affecting mitochondrial ATP production and oxidative respiration.

Long-term high glucose sensitizes macrophages to cytokine stimulation and reduces phagocytosis and nitric oxide production, which may be related to impaired glycolytic capacity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number24
Number of pages13
JournalBMC Immunology
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2018

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