Cell-intrinsic lysosomal lipolysis is essential for macrophage alternative activation
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Alternative (M2) macrophage activation driven through interleukin 4 receptor α (IL-4Rα) is important for immunity to parasites, wound healing, the prevention of atherosclerosis and metabolic homeostasis. M2 polarization is dependent on fatty acid oxidation (FAO), but the source of fatty acids to support this metabolic program has not been clear. We show that the uptake of triacylglycerol substrates via CD36 and their subsequent lipolysis by lysosomal acid lipase (LAL) was important for the engagement of elevated oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), enhanced spare respiratory capacity (SRC), prolonged survival and expression of genes that together define M2 activation. Inhibition of lipolysis suppressed M2 activation during infection with a parasitic helminth, and blocked protective responses against this pathogen. Our findings delineate a critical role for cell-intrinsic lysosomal lipolysis in M2 activation.