In response to infection, patients with inborn errors of metabolism may develop a functional deterioration termed metabolic decompensation. The biochemical hallmarks of this disruption of metabolic homeostasis are disease specific and may include acidosis, hyperammonemia or hypoglycemia. In a model system previously published by our group, we noted that during influenza infection, mice displayed a depression in hepatic mitochondrial enzymes involved in nitrogen metabolism. Based on these findings, we hypothesized that this normal adaptation may extend to other metabolic pathways, and as such, may impact various inborn errors of metabolism. Since the liver is a critical organ in inborn errors of metabolism, we carried out untargeted metabolomic profiling of livers using mass spectrometry in C57Bl/6 mice infected with influenza to characterize metabolic adaptation. Pathway analysis of metabolomic data revealed reductions in CoA synthesis, and long chain fatty acyl CoA and carnitine species. These metabolic adaptations coincided with a depression in hepatic long chain ß-oxidation mRNA and protein. To our surprise, the metabolic changes observed occurred in conjunction with a hepatic innate immune response, as demonstrated by transcriptional profiling and flow cytometry. By employing an immunomodulation strategy to deplete Kupffer cells, we were able to improve the expression of multiple genes involved in ß-oxidation. Based on these findings, we are the first to suggest that the role of the liver as an immunologic organ is central in the pathophysiology of hepatic metabolic decompensation in inborn errors of metabolism due to respiratory viral infection.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bbadis.2015.08.021
View details for PubMedID 26319418
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6662236