TCA cycle remodeling drives proinflammatory signaling in humans with pulmonary tuberculosis

Jeffrey M. Collins, Dean P. Jones, Ashish Sharma, Manoj Khadka, Ken H. Liu, Russell R. Kempker, Brendan Prideaux, Kristal Maner-Smith, Nestani Tukvadze, N. Sarita Shah, James C.M. Brust, Rafick Pierre Sekaly, Neel R. Gandhi, Henry M. Blumberg, Eric A. Ortlund, Thomas R. Ziegler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The metabolic signaling pathways that drive pathologic tissue inflammation and damage in humans with pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) are not well understood. Using combined methods in plasma high-resolution metabolomics, lipidomics and cytokine profiling from a multicohort study of humans with pulmonary TB disease, we discovered that IL-1β-mediated inflammatory signaling was closely associated with TCA cycle remodeling, characterized by accumulation of the proinflammatory metabolite succinate and decreased concentrations of the anti-inflammatory metabolite itaconate. This inflammatory metabolic response was particularly active in persons with multidrug-resistant (MDR)-TB that received at least 2 months of ineffective treatment and was only reversed after 1 year of appropriate anti-TB chemotherapy. Both succinate and IL-1β were significantly associated with proinflammatory lipid signaling, including increases in the products of phospholipase A2, increased arachidonic acid formation, and metabolism of arachidonic acid to proinflammatory eicosanoids. Together, these results indicate that decreased itaconate and accumulation of succinate and other TCA cycle intermediates is associated with IL-1β-mediated proinflammatory eicosanoid signaling in pulmonary TB disease. These findings support host metabolic remodeling as a key driver of pathologic inflammation in human TB disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1009941
JournalPLoS pathogens
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Virology


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