Macrophage proinflammatory activation is an important etiologic component of the development of insulin resistance and metabolic dysfunction in obesity. However, the underlying mechanisms are not clearly understood. Here, we demonstrate that a mitochondrial inner membrane protein, adenine nucleotide translocase 2 (ANT2), mediates proinflammatory activation of adipose tissue macrophages (ATMs) in obesity. Ant2 expression was increased in ATMs of obese mice compared with lean mice. Myeloid-specific ANT2-knockout (ANT2-MKO) mice showed decreased adipose tissue inflammation and improved insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance in HFD/obesity. At the molecular level, we found that ANT2 mediates free fatty acid–induced mitochondrial permeability transition, leading to increased mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production and damage. In turn, this increased HIF-1α expression and NF-κB activation, leading to proinflammatory macrophage activation. Our results provide a previously unknown mechanism for how obesity induces proinflammatory activation of macrophages with propagation of low-grade chronic inflammation (metaflammation).
Jae-Su Moon, Flavia Franco da Cunha, Jin Young Huh, Alexander Yu Andreyev, Jihyung Lee, Sushil K. Mahata, Felipe C.G. Reis, Chanond A. Nasamran, Yun Sok Lee