Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

Adenosine 5'-monophosphate-activated protein kinase regulates IL-10-mediated anti-inflammatory signaling pathways in macrophages.

PMID 25512602


AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a conserved serine/threonine kinase with a critical function in the regulation of metabolic pathways in eukaryotic cells. Recently, AMPK has been shown to play an additional role as a regulator of inflammatory activity in leukocytes. Treatment of macrophages with chemical AMPK activators, or forced expression of a constitutively active form of AMPK, results in polarization to an anti-inflammatory phenotype. In addition, we reported previously that stimulation of macrophages with anti-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-10, IL-4, and TGF-β results in rapid activation of AMPK, suggesting that AMPK contributes to the suppressive function of these cytokines. In this study, we investigated the role of AMPK in IL-10-induced gene expression and anti-inflammatory function. IL-10-stimulated wild-type macrophages displayed rapid activation of PI3K and its downstream targets Akt and mammalian target of rapamycin complex (mTORC1), an effect that was not seen in macrophages generated from AMPKα1-deficient mice. AMPK activation was not impacted by treatment with either the PI3K inhibitor LY294002 or the JAK inhibitor CP-690550, suggesting that IL-10-mediated activation of AMPK is independent of PI3K and JAK activity. IL-10 induced phosphorylation of both Tyr(705) and Ser(727) residues of STAT3 in an AMPKα1-dependent manner, and these phosphorylation events were blocked by inhibition of Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase β, an upstream activator of AMPK, and by the mTORC1 inhibitor rapamycin, respectively. The impaired STAT3 phosphorylation in response to IL-10 observed in AMPKα1-deficient macrophages was accompanied by reduced suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 expression and an inadequacy of IL-10 to suppress LPS-induced proinflammatory cytokine production. Overall, our data demonstrate that AMPKα1 is required for IL-10 activation of the PI3K/Akt/mTORC1 and STAT3-mediated anti-inflammatory pathways regulating macrophage functional polarization.