Leucine Reconstitutes Phagocytosis-Induced Cell Death in E. coli-Infected Neonatal Monocytes-Effects on Energy Metabolism and mTOR Signaling.
Published on Apr 20, 2021in International Journal of Molecular Sciences5.924
· DOI :10.3390/IJMS22084271
MΦ differentiate from circulating monocytes (Mo). The reduced ability of neonatal Mo to undergo apoptosis after E. coli infection (phagocytosis-induced cell death (PICD)) could contribute to sustained inflammatory processes. The objective of our study was to investigate whether immune metabolism in Mo can be modified to gain access to pro-apoptotic signaling. To this end, we supplemented Mo from neonates and from adults with the branched amino acid leucine. In neonatal Mo, we observed increased energy production via oxidative phosphorylation (Oxphos) after E. coli infection via Seahorse assay. Leucine did not change phagocytic properties. In neonatal Mo, we detected temporal activation of the AKT and mTOR pathways, accompanied with subsequent activation of downstream targets S6 Kinase (S6K) and S6. FACS analyses showed that once mTOR activation was terminated, the level of anti-apoptotic BCL-2 family proteins (BCL-2; BCL-XL) decreased. Release of cytochrome C and cleavage of caspase-3 indicated involvement of the intrinsic apoptotic pathway. Concomitantly, the PICD of neonatal Mo was initiated, as detected by hypodiploid DNA. This process was sensitive to rapamycin and metformin, suggesting a functional link between AKT, mTOR and the control of intrinsic apoptotic signaling. These features were unique to neonatal Mo and could not be observed in adult Mo. Supplementation with leucine therefore could be beneficial to reduce sustained inflammation in septic neonates.