Sirtuin-1 is a nutrient-dependent modulator of inflammation

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Inflammation accompanies obesity and its comorbidities—type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and atherosclerosis, among others—and may contribute to their pathogenesis. Yet the cellular machinery that links nutrient sensing to inflammation remains incompletely characterized. The protein deacetylase sirtuin-1 (SirT1) is activated by energy depletion and plays a critical role in the mammalian response to fasting. More recently it has been implicated in the repression of inflammation. SirT1 mRNA and protein expression are suppressed in obese rodent and human white adipose tissue, while experimental reduction of SirT1 in adipocytes and macrophages causes low-grade inflammation that mimics that observed in obesity. Thus suppression of SirT1 during overnutrition may be critical to the development of obesity-associated inflammation. This effect is attributable to multiple actions of SirT1, including direct deacetylation of NFκB and chromatin remodeling at inflammatory gene promoters. In this work, we report that SirT1 is also suppressed by diet-induced obesity in macrophages, which are key contributors to the ontogeny of metabolic inflammation. Thus, SirT1 may be a common mechanism by which cells sense nutrient status and modulate inflammatory signaling networks in accordance with organismal energy availability.

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