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Enhanced glycolytic metabolism supports transmigration of brain-infiltrating macrophages in multiple sclerosis

Kaushik, DK;Bhattacharya, A;Mirzaei, R;Rawji, KS;Ahn, Y;Rho, JM;Yong, VW;

The migration of leukocytes into the CNS drives the neuropathology of multiple sclerosis (MS). This penetration likely utilizes energy resources that remain to be defined. Using the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) model of MS, we determined that macrophages within the perivascular cuff of post-capillary venules are highly glycolytic as manifested by strong expression of lactate dehydrogenase A (LDHA) that converts pyruvate to lactate. These macrophages expressed prominent levels of monocarboxylate transporter-4 (MCT-4) specialized in secreting lactate from glycolytic cells. The functional relevance of glycolysis was confirmed by siRNA-mediated knockdown of LDHA and MCT-4, which decreased lactate secretion and macrophage transmigration. MCT-4 was in turn regulated by EMMPRIN (CD147) as determined through co-expression/co-immunoprecipitation studies, and siRNA-mediated EMMPRIN silencing. The functional relevance of MCT-4/EMMPRIN interaction was affirmed by lower macrophage transmigration in culture using the MCT-4 inhibitor, -cyano-4-hydroxy-cinnamic acid (CHCA), a cinnamon derivative. CHCA also reduced leukocyte infiltration and the clinical severity of EAE. Relevance to MS was corroborated by the strong expression of MCT-4, EMMPRIN and LDHA in perivascular macrophages in MS brains. These results detail the metabolism of macrophages for transmigration from perivascular cuffs into the CNS parenchyma and identifies CHCA and diet as potential modulators of neuro-inflammation in MS.