Macrophages are metabolically heterogeneous within the tumor microenvironment

Xenia Geeraerts, Juan Fernández-Garcia, Felix J. Hartmann, Kyra E. de Goede, Liesbet Martens, Yvon Elkrim, Ayla Debraekeleer, Benoit Stijlemans, Anke Vandekeere, Gianmarco Rinaldi, Riet De Rycke, Mélanie Planque, Dorien Broekaert, Elisa Meinster, Emile Clappaert, Pauline Bardet, Aleksandar Murgaski, Conny Gysemans, Frank Aboubakar Nana, Yvan SaeysSean C. Bendall, Damya Laoui, Jan Van den Bossche, Sarah Maria Fendt, Jo A. Van Ginderachter

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Abstract

Macrophages are often prominently present in the tumor microenvironment, where distinct macrophage populations can differentially affect tumor progression. Although metabolism influences macrophage function, studies on the metabolic characteristics of ex vivo tumor-associated macrophage (TAM) subsets are rather limited. Using transcriptomic and metabolic analyses, we now reveal that pro-inflammatory major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-IIhi TAMs display a hampered tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, while reparative MHC-IIlo TAMs show higher oxidative and glycolytic metabolism. Although both TAM subsets rapidly exchange lactate in high-lactate conditions, only MHC-IIlo TAMs use lactate as an additional carbon source. Accordingly, lactate supports the oxidative metabolism in MHC-IIlo TAMs, while it decreases the metabolic activity of MHC-IIhi TAMs. Lactate subtly affects the transcriptome of MHC-IIlo TAMs, increases L-arginine metabolism, and enhances the T cell suppressive capacity of these TAMs. Overall, our data uncover the metabolic intricacies of distinct TAM subsets and identify lactate as a carbon source and metabolic and functional regulator of TAMs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110171
JournalCell Reports
Volume37
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a PhD fellowship of the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) and a national Belgian fellowship L'Oréal-UNESCO “For Women in Science” to X.G. J.F.-G. A.V. and G.R. are/were supported by FWO fellowships. J.V.d.B. received a VENI grant from ZonMW (91615052), a Netherlands Heart Foundation Junior Postdoctoral grant (2013T003), a Senior Fellowship (2017T048), and a NWO ENW-KLEIN-1 grant (268). S.-M.F. acknowledges funding from the European Research Council under the ERC Consolidator grant agreement no. 771486–MetaRegulation, FWO Projects, KU Leuven – FTBO, and Fonds Baillet Latour. J.A.V.G. is supported by grants from Kom op tegen Kanker, Stichting tegen Kanker, and FWO-Vlaanderen. The authors would like to thank Jan Brughmans, Solange Martins, Maryse Schmoetten, Ella Omasta, Marie-Thérèse Detobel, Nickey Riebeek, Maria Slazak, and Nadia Abou for technical and administrative support. We thank Isabelle Scheyltjens for advice regarding Metascape analysis. Bulk RNA sequencing and analyses were performed by VIB Nucleomics Core (www.nucleomics.be). We thank Benjamin Pavie, Anneke Kremer, and Eef Parthoens from VIB Bioimaging Core-Gent for their support with confocal/electron microscopy analysis and Bart Ghesquière from VIB Metabolomics Core. We thank Janick Mathys from VIB for advice regarding statistical analysis. Conceptualization, X.G. J.V.d.B. S.-M.F. and J.A.V.G.; formal analysis, X.G. J.F.-G. F.J.H. K.E.d.G. L.M. A.V. G.R. R.D.R. and M.P.; investigation, X.G. F.J.H. K.E.d.G. Y.E. A.D. B.S. A.V. G.R. R.D.R. D.B. E.M. E.C. P.B. A.M. and C.G.; resources – provision of patient samples, F.A.N.; writing – original draft preparation, X.G.; writing – review & editing: X.G. J.V.d.B. S.-M.F. and J.A.V.G.; visualization: X.G. F.J.H. and L.M.; supervision: Y.S. S.C.B. D.L. J.V.d.B. S.-M.F. and J.A.V.G.; funding acquisition: J.V.d.B. S.-M.F. and J.A.V.G. J.A.V.G. received funding from Precirix, Argenx, and Oncurious for projects unrelated to this manuscript and has functioned as a consultant for MSD and Fund+. S.-M.F. has received funding from Bayer, Merck, and Black Belt Therapeutics for different projects and is on the editorial board of Cell Reports. All other authors declare no competing interests.

Funding Information:
J.A.V.G. received funding from Precirix, Argenx, and Oncurious for projects unrelated to this manuscript and has functioned as a consultant for MSD and Fund+. S.-M.F. has received funding from Bayer, Merck, and Black Belt Therapeutics for different projects and is on the editorial board of Cell Reports. All other authors declare no competing interests.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a PhD fellowship of the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) and a national Belgian fellowship L’Oréal-UNESCO “For Women in Science” to X.G. J.F.-G., A.V., and G.R. are/were supported by FWO fellowships. J.V.d.B. received a VENI grant from ZonMW ( 91615052 ), a Netherlands Heart Foundation Junior Postdoctoral grant ( 2013T003 ), a Senior Fellowship ( 2017T048 ), and a NWO ENW-KLEIN-1 grant ( 268 ). S.-M.F. acknowledges funding from the European Research Council under the ERC Consolidator grant agreement no. 771486 –MetaRegulation, FWO Projects, KU Leuven – FTBO, and Fonds Baillet Latour. J.A.V.G. is supported by grants from Kom op tegen Kanker, Stichting tegen Kanker, and FWO-Vlaanderen. The authors would like to thank Jan Brughmans, Solange Martins, Maryse Schmoetten, Ella Omasta, Marie-Thérèse Detobel, Nickey Riebeek, Maria Slazak, and Nadia Abou for technical and administrative support. We thank Isabelle Scheyltjens for advice regarding Metascape analysis. Bulk RNA sequencing and analyses were performed by VIB Nucleomics Core ( www.nucleomics.be ). We thank Benjamin Pavie, Anneke Kremer, and Eef Parthoens from VIB Bioimaging Core-Gent for their support with confocal/electron microscopy analysis and Bart Ghesquière from VIB Metabolomics Core. We thank Janick Mathys from VIB for advice regarding statistical analysis.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors

Copyright:
Copyright 2022 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • immunometabolism
  • immunosuppression
  • lactate
  • macrophage metabolism
  • metabolomics
  • non-small-cell lung carcinoma
  • single-cell metabolic profiling
  • TCA cycle break
  • tumor microenvironment
  • tumor-associated macrophages

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