Drosophila macrophages switch to aerobic glycolysis to mount effective antibacterial defense


Gabriela Krejcova, Adam Bajgar from Dmel macrophages squad and coworkers from the Laboratory of molecular integrative physiology in Drosophila led by Tomas Dolezal published an article in eLife journal. The authors show that activated insect macrophages undergo a metabolic shift to aerobic glycolysis and that this metabolic remodeling is highly conserved between insects and mammals, being regulated by the same molecule - Hypoxia-inducible factor 1α.

While the switch to aerobic glycolysis has been known for a while in mammalian immunity, the finding that insect immune cells undergo the same switch demonstrate how important such metabolic behavior of activated immune cells is throughout evolution. This is further supported by conserved molecular regulation by Hypoxia-inducible factor 1α in both mammals and insects. In addition, macrophage-derived factors produced in response to aerobic glycolysis also cause changes in systemic sugar metabolism and represent a mechanism by which activated immune cells secure enough energy for ongoing processes. These results connect the aerobic glycolysis with the privileged behavior of immune system, which was previously identified in the same laboratory.

Krejcova G, Danielova A, Nedbalova P, Kazek M, Strych L, Chawla G, Tennessen JM, Lieskovská J, Jindra M, Dolezal T, Bajgar A (2019) Drosophila macrophages switch to aerobic glycolysis to mount effective antibacterial defense. eLife 14;8. pii: e50414. doi: 10.7554/eLife.50414.