This video is adapted from 10.3390/ijms232012695
Trained immune responses, based on metabolic and epigenetic changes in innate immune cells, are de facto innate immune memory and, therefore, are of great interest in vaccine development. In previous studies, the recombinant fusion protein rFlaA:Betv1, combining the adjuvant and toll-like receptor (TLR)5-ligand flagellin (FlaA) and the major birch pollen allergen Bet v 1 into a single molecule, significantly suppressed allergic sensitization in vivo while also changing the metabolism of myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs). Within this study, the immune–metabolic effects of rFlaA:Betv1 during mDC activation were elucidated. In line with results for other well-characterized TLR-ligands, rFlaA:Betv1 increased glycolysis while suppressing oxidative phosphorylation to different extents, making rFlaA:Betv1 a suitable model to study the immune–metabolic effects of TLR-adjuvanted vaccines. In vitro pretreatment of mDCs with cerulenin (inhibitor of fatty acid biosynthesis) led to a decrease in both rFlaA:Betv1-induced anti-inflammatory cytokine Interleukin (IL) 10 and T helper cell type (TH) 1-related cytokine IL-12p70, while the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL 1β was unaffected. Interestingly, pretreatment with the glutaminase inhibitor BPTES resulted in an increase in IL-1β, but decreased IL-12p70 secretion while leaving IL-10 unchanged. Inhibition of the glycolytic enzyme hexokinase-2 by 2-deoxyglucose led to a decrease in all investigated cytokines (IL-10, IL-12p70, and IL-1β). Inhibitors of mitochondrial respiration had no effect on rFlaA:Betv1-induced IL-10 level, but either enhanced the secretion of IL-1β (oligomycin) or decreased IL-12p70 (antimycin A). In extracellular flux measurements, mDCs showed a strongly enhanced glycolysis after rFlaA:Betv1 stimulation, which was slightly increased after respiratory shutdown using antimycin A. rFlaA:Betv1-stimulated mDCs secreted directly antimicrobial substances in a mTOR- and fatty acid metabolism-dependent manner.