6 Citations (Scopus)


Macrophages undergo extensive metabolic rewiring upon activation which assist the cell in roles beyond energy production and synthesis of anabolic building blocks. So-called immunometabolites that accumulate upon immune activation can serve as co-factors for enzymes and can act as signaling molecules to modulate cellular processes. As such, the Krebs-cycle-associated metabolites succinate, itaconate and alpha-ketoglutarate (αKG) have emerged as key regulators of macrophage function. Here, we describe that 2-hydroxyglutarate (2HG), which is structurally similar to αKG and exists as two enantiomers, accumulates during later stages of LPS-induced inflammatory responses in mouse and human macrophages. D-2HG was the most abundant enantiomer in macrophages and its LPS-induced accumulation followed the induction of Hydroxyacid-Oxoacid Transhydrogenase (HOT). HOT interconverts αKG and gamma-hydroxybutyrate into D-2HG and succinic semialdehyde, and we here identified this enzyme as being immune-responsive and regulated during the course of macrophage activation. The buildup of D-2HG may be further explained by reduced expression of D-2HG Dehydrogenase (D2HGDH), which converts D-2HG back into αKG, and showed inverse kinetics with HOT and D-2HG levels. We tested the immunomodulatory effects of D-2HG during LPS-induced inflammatory responses by transcriptomic analyses and functional profiling of D-2HG-pre-treated macrophages in vitro and mice in vivo. Together, these data suggest a role for D-2HG in the negative feedback regulation of inflammatory signaling during late-stage LPS-responses in vitro and as a regulator of local and systemic inflammatory responses in vivo. Finally, we show that D-2HG likely exerts distinct anti-inflammatory effects, which are in part independent of αKG-dependent dioxygenase inhibition. Together, this study reveals an immunometabolic circuit resulting in the accumulation of the immunomodulatory metabolite D-2HG that can inhibit inflammatory macrophage responses.
Original languageEnglish
Article number166427
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta-Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022


  • 2-HG
  • 2-hydroxyglutarate
  • Immunometabolism
  • Immunometabolite
  • Innate immunity
  • Macrophage

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