microRNA-223 Regulates Macrophage Polarization and Diet-induced Insulin Resistance
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Macrophage activation plays a crucial role in regulating adipose tissue inflammation and is a major contributor to the pathogenesis of obesity-associated cardiovascular diseases. On various types of stimuli, macrophages respond with either classic (M1) or alternative (M2) activation. M1- and M2-mediated signaling pathways and corresponding cytokine production profiles are not completely understood. The discovery of microRNAs provides a new opportunity to understand this complicated but crucial network for macrophage activation and adipose tissue function. We have examined the activity of microRNA-223 (miR-223) and its role in controlling macrophage functions in adipose tissue inflammation and systemic insulinresistance. miR-223-/- mice on a high-fat diet exhibited an increased severity of systemic insulin resistance compared with wild-type mice that was accompanied by a marked increase in adipose tissue inflammation. The specific regulatory effects of miR-223 in myeloid cell-mediated regulation of adipose tissue inflammation and insulin resistance were then confirmed by transplantation analysis. Moreover, using bone marrow-derived macrophages, we demonstrated that miR-223 is a novel regulator of macrophage polarization, which suppresses classic pro-inflammatory pathways and enhances the alternative anti-inflammatory responses. In addition, we identified Pknox1 as a genuine miR-223 target gene and an essential regulator for macrophage polarization. For the first time, this study demonstrates that miR-223 acts to inhibit Pknox 1,suppressing pro-inflammatory activation of macrophages; thus, it is a crucial regulator of macrophage polarization and protects against diet-induced adipose tissue inflammatory response and systemic insulin resistance.