Interferon Gamma Induces Reversible Metabolic Reprogramming of M1 Macrophages to Sustain Cell Viability and Pro-Inflammatory Activity

Feilong Wang, Song Zhang, Ryounghoon Jeon, Ivan Vuckovic, Xintong Jiang, Amir Lerman, Clifford Folmes, Petras P Dzeja, Joerg Herrmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations


Classical activation of M1 macrophages with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is associated with a metabolic switch from oxidative phosphorylation to glycolysis. However, the generalizability of such metabolic remodeling to other modes of M1 macrophage stimulation, e.g. type II interferons (IFNs) such as IFNγ, has remained unknown as has the functional significance of aerobic glycolysis during macrophage activation. Here we demonstrate that IFNγ induces a rapid activation of aerobic glycolysis followed by a reduction in oxidative phosphorylation in M1 macrophages. Elevated glycolytic flux sustains cell viability and inflammatory activity, while limiting reliance on mitochondrial oxidative metabolism. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) distributed by aerobic glycolysis is critical for sustaining IFN-γ triggered JAK (Janus tyrosine kinase)-STAT-1 (Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 1) signaling with phosphorylation of the transcription factor STAT-1 as its signature trait. Inhibition of aerobic glycolysis not only blocks the M1 phenotype and pro-inflammatory cytokine/chemokine production in murine macrophages and also human monocytes/macrophages. These findings extend on the potential functional role of immuno-metabolism from LPS- to IFNγ-linked diseases such as atherosclerosis and autoimmune disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018



  • Immunometabolism
  • Inflammation
  • Interferon gamma
  • Interleukin-1 beta
  • Macrophage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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