Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.524, No.4, 916-922, 2020
Macrophage-derived sulfur dioxide is a novel inflammation regulator
Macrophage-mediated inflammation is a key pathophysiological component of cardiovascular diseases, but the underlying mechanisms by which the macrophage regulates inflammation have been unclear. In our study, we, for the first time, showed an endogenous sulfur dioxide (SO2) production in RAW267.4 macrophages by using HPLC and SO2-specific fluorescent probe assays. Moreover, the endogenous SO2 generating enzyme aspartate aminotransferase (AAT) was found to be expressed by the macrophages. Furthermore, we showed that AAT2 knockdown triggered spontaneous macrophage-mediated inflammation, as represented by the increased TNF-alpha and IL-6 levels and the enhanced macrophage chemotaxis; these effects could be reversed by the treatment with a SO2 donor. Mechanistically, AAT2 knockdown activated the NF-kappa B signaling pathway in macrophages, while SO2 successfully rescued NF-kappa B activation. In contrast, forced AAT2 expression reversed AngII-induced NF-kappa B activation and subsequent macrophage inflammation. Moreover, treatment with a SO2 donor also alleviated macrophage infiltration in AngII-treated mouse hearts. Collectively, our data suggest that macrophage-derived SO2 is an important regulator of macrophage activation and it acts as an endogenous "on-off switch" in the control of macrophage activation. This knowledge might enable a new therapeutic strategy for cardiovascular diseases. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.