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Hemin Prevents Increased Glycolysis In Macrophages Upon Activation: Protection By Microbiota-Derived Metabolites Of Polyphenols

Catalina Carrasco-Pozo, Kah Ni Tan, Vicky M. Avery

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Meat consumption plays a critical role in the development of several types of cancer. Hemin, a metabolite of myoglobin produced after meat intake, has been demonstrated to be involved in the cancer initiation phase. Macrophages are key components of the innate immunity, which, upon activation, can prevent cancer development by eliminating neoplastic cells. Metabolic reprogramming, characterized by high glycolysis and low oxidative phosphorylation, is critical for macrophage activation. 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (3,4DHPAA) and 4-hydroxyphenylacetic acid (4HPAA), both microbiota-derived metabolites of flavonoids, have not been extensively studied although they exert antioxidant properties. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of hemin on the anticancer properties of macrophages and the role of 3,4DHPAA and 4HPAA in metabolic reprogramming and activation of macrophages leading to the elimination of cancer cells. The results showed that hemin inhibited glycolysis, glycolytic, and pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) enzyme activities and hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1α) stabilization, which interferes with macrophage activation (evidenced by decreased interferon-γ-inducible protein 10 (IP-10) release) and their ability to eliminate cancer cells (via cytotoxic mediators and phagocytosis). Hemin also reduced the mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and mitochondrial mass in macrophages. 3,4DHPAA and 4HPAA, by stimulating glycolysis and PPP, prevented the impairment of the macrophage anticancer activity induced by hemin. In conclusion, 3,4HPAA and 4HPAA administration could represent a promising strategy for preventing the reduction of macrophage activation induced by hemin.