The Journal Of Biological Chemistry
Glucosamine has immunomodulatory effects on autoimmune diseases. However, the mechanism(s) through which glucosamine modulates different T cell subsets and diseases remain unclear. We demonstrate that glucosamine impedes Th1, Th2, and iTreg but promotes Th17 differentiation through down-regulating N-linked glycosylation of CD25 and subsequently inhibiting its downstream Stat5 signaling in a dose-dependent manner. The effect of glucosamine on T helper cell differentiation was similar to that induced by anti-IL-2 treatment, further supporting an IL-2 signaling-dependent modulation. Interestingly, excess glucose rescued this glucosamine-mediated regulation, suggesting a functional competition between glucose and glucosamine. High-dose glucosamine significantly decreased Glut1 N-glycosylation in Th1-polarized cells. This finding suggests that both down-regulated IL-2 signaling and Glut1-dependent glycolytic metabolism contribute to the inhibition of Th1 differentiation by glucosamine. Finally, glucosamine treatment inhibited Th1 cells in vivo, prolonged the survival of islet grafts in diabetic recipients, and exacerbated the severity of EAE. Taken together, our results indicate that glucosamine interferes with N-glycosylation of CD25, and thereby attenuates IL-2 downstream signaling. These effects suggest that glucosamine may be an important modulator of T cell differentiation and immune homeostasis.