Nucleotides released from palmitate-activated murine macrophages attract neutrophils
Journal of Biological Chemistry
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© 2020 Tam et al. Obesity and elevation of circulating free fatty acids are associated with an accumulation and proinflammatory polarization of macrophages within metabolically active tissues, such as adipose tissue, muscle, liver, and pancreas. Beyond macrophages, neutrophils also accumulate in adipose and muscle tissues during high-fat diets and contribute to a state of local inflammation and insulin resistance. However, the mechanisms by which neutrophils are recruited to these tissues are largely unknown. Here we used a cell culture system as proof of concept to show that, upon exposure to a saturated fatty acid, palmitate, macrophages release nucleotides that attract neutrophils. Moreover, we found that palmitate up-regulates pannexin-1 channels in macrophages that mediate the attraction of neutrophils, shown previously to allow transfer of nucleotides across membranes. These findings suggest that proinflammatory macrophages release nucleotides through pannexin-1, a process that may facilitate neutrophil recruitment into metabolic tissues during obesity.