Intestinal Macrophages Balance Inflammatory Expression Profiles via Vitamin A and Dectin-1-Mediated Signaling

Martje N. Erkelens*, Gera Goverse, Tanja Konijn, Rosalie Molenaar, Marieke R. Beijer, Jan Van den Bossche, Kyra E. de Goede, Sanne G.S. Verberk, Wouter J. de Jonge, Joke M.M. den Haan, Reina E. Mebius

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Tissue resident intestinal macrophages are known to exhibit an anti-inflammatory phenotype and produce little pro-inflammatory cytokines upon TLR ligation, allowing symbiotic co-existence with the intestinal microbiota. However, upon acute events such as epithelial damage and concomitant influx of microbes, these macrophages must be able to quickly mount a pro-inflammatory response while more inflammatory macrophages are recruited from the blood stream simultaneously. Here, we show that dietary intake of vitamin A is required for the maintenance of the anti-inflammatory state of tissue resident intestinal macrophages. Interestingly, these anti-inflammatory macrophages were characterized by high levels of Dectin-1 expression. We show that Dectin-1 expression is enhanced by the vitamin A metabolite retinoic acid and our data suggests that Dectin-1 triggering might provide a switch to induce a rapid production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. In addition, Dectin-1 stimulation resulted in an altered metabolic profile which is linked to a pro-inflammatory response. Together, our data suggests that presence of vitamin A in the small intestine enhances an anti-inflammatory phenotype as well as Dectin-1 expression by macrophages and that this anti-inflammatory phenotype can rapidly convert toward a pro-inflammatory state upon Dectin-1 signaling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number551
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2020

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