By Capturing Inflammatory Lipids Released from Dying Cells, the Receptor CD14 Induces Inflammasome-Dependent Phagocyte Hyperactivation

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A heterogeneous mixture of lipids called oxPAPC, derived from dying cells, can hyperactivate dendritic cells (DCs) but not macrophages. Hyperactive DCs are defined by their ability to release interleukin-1 (IL-1) while maintaining cell viability, endowing these cells with potent aptitude to stimulate adaptive immunity. Herein, we found that the bacterial lipopolysaccharide receptor CD14 captured extracellular oxPAPC and delivered these lipids into the cell to promote inflammasome-dependent DC hyperactivation. Notably, we identified two specific components within the oxPAPC mixture that hyperactivated macrophages, allowing these cells to release IL-1 for several days, by a CD14-dependent process. In murine models of sepsis, conditions that promoted cell hyperactivation resulted in inflammation but not lethality. Thus, multiple phagocytes are capable of hyperactivation in response to oxPAPC, with CD14 acting as the earliest regulator in this process, serving to capture and transport these lipids to promote inflammatory cell fate decisions.

Inflammasomes elicit pyroptosis or cell hyperactivation, with the latter defined as living cells that release IL-1. Zanoni et al. report that CD14 captures distinct lipids within oxPAPC to promote dendritic cell and/or macrophage hyperactivation. Unlike pyroptotic stimuli, oxPAPC lipids promote long-term IL-1 release from cells and non-lethal inflammation in mice.

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