D-2-Hydroxyglutarate is an anti-inflammatory immunometabolite that accumulates in macrophages after TLR4 activation

Kyra E. de Goede, Karl J. Harber, Friederike S. Gorki, Sanne G. S. Verberk, Laszlo A. Groh, Eelco D. Keuning, Eduard A. Struys, Michel van Weeghel, Arvand Haschemi, Menno P. J. de Winther, Xanthe A. M. H. van Dierendonck, Jan van den Bossche*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Macrophages undergo extensive metabolic rewiring upon activation which assist the cell in roles beyond energy production and synthesis of anabolic building blocks. So-called immunometabolites that accumulate upon immune activation can serve as co-factors for enzymes and can act as signaling molecules to modulate cellular processes. As such, the Krebs-cycle-associated metabolites succinate, itaconate and alpha-ketoglutarate (αKG) have emerged as key regulators of macrophage function. Here, we describe that 2-hydroxyglutarate (2HG), which is structurally similar to αKG and exists as two enantiomers, accumulates during later stages of LPS-induced inflammatory responses in mouse and human macrophages. D-2HG was the most abundant enantiomer in macrophages and its LPS-induced accumulation followed the induction of Hydroxyacid-Oxoacid Transhydrogenase (HOT). HOT interconverts αKG and gamma-hydroxybutyrate into D-2HG and succinic semialdehyde, and we here identified this enzyme as being immune-responsive and regulated during the course of macrophage activation. The buildup of D-2HG may be further explained by reduced expression of D-2HG Dehydrogenase (D2HGDH), which converts D-2HG back into αKG, and showed inverse kinetics with HOT and D-2HG levels. We tested the immunomodulatory effects of D-2HG during LPS-induced inflammatory responses by transcriptomic analyses and functional profiling of D-2HG-pre-treated macrophages in vitro and mice in vivo. Together, these data suggest a role for D-2HG in the negative feedback regulation of inflammatory signaling during late-stage LPS-responses in vitro and as a regulator of local and systemic inflammatory responses in vivo. Finally, we show that D-2HG likely exerts distinct anti-inflammatory effects, which are in part independent of αKG-dependent dioxygenase inhibition. Together, this study reveals an immunometabolic circuit resulting in the accumulation of the immunomodulatory metabolite D-2HG that can inhibit inflammatory macrophage responses.
Original languageEnglish
Article number166427
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2022

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