Taniguchi K, Hikiji H, Okinaga T, Hashidate-Yoshida T, Shindou H, Ariyoshi W, Shimizu T, Tominaga K, Nishihara T.
Lysophospholipid acyltransferases (LPLATs) regulate the diversification of fatty acid composition in biological membranes. Lysophosphatidylcholine acyltransferases (LPCATs) are members of the LPLATs that play a role in inflammatory responses. M1 macrophages differentiate in response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and are pro-inflammatory, whereas M2 macrophages, which differentiate in response to interleukin-4 (IL-4), are anti-inflammatory and involved in homeostasis and wound healing. In the present study, we showed that LPCATs play an important role in M1/M2-macrophage polarization. LPS changed the shape of PMA-treated U937 cells from rounded to spindle shaped and upregulated the mRNA and protein expression of the M1 macrophage markers CXCL10, TNF-α, and IL-1β. IL-4 had no effect on the shape of PMA-treated U937 cells and upregulated the M2 macrophage markers CD206, IL-1ra, and TGF-β in PMA-treated U937 cells. These results suggest that LPS and IL-4 promote the differentiation of PMA-treated U937 cells into M1- and M2-polarized macrophages, respectively. LPS significantly downregulated the mRNA expression of LPCAT3, one of four LPCAT isoforms, and suppressed its enzymatic activity toward linoleoyl-CoA and arachidonoyl-CoA in PMA-treated U937 cells. LPCAT3 knockdown induced a spindle-shaped morphology typical of M1-polarized macrophages, and increased the secretion of CXCL10 and decreased the levels of CD206 in IL-4-activated U937 cells. This indicates that knockdown of LPCAT3 shifts the differentiation of PMA-treated U937 cells to M1-polarized macrophages. Our findings suggest that LPCAT3 plays an important role in M1/M2-macrophage polarization, providing novel potential therapeutic targets for the regulation of immune and inflammatory disorders.