Du CC, Yang M, Li MY et al.
Journal of proteome research. Mar 2017.
Crucial metabolites that modulate hosts’ metabolome to eliminate bacterial pathogens have been documented, but the metabolic mechanisms are largely unknown. The present study explores the metabolic mechanism for L-leucine-induced metabolome to eliminate Streptococcus iniae in tilapia. GC-MS based metabolomics was used to investigate tilapia liver metabolic profile in the presence of exogenous L-leucine. Thirty-seven metabolites of differential abundance were determined, and eleven metabolic pathways were enriched. Pattern recognition analysis identified serine and proline as crucial metabolites, which are the two metabolites identified in survived tilapias during S. iniae infection, suggesting the two metabolites play crucial roles in L-leucine-induced elimination of the pathogen by the host. Exogenous L-serine reduces mortality of tilapias infected by S. iniae, providing a robust proof for supporting the conclusion. Furthermore, exogenous serine elevates expression of genes Il-1β and Il-8 in tilapia spleen, but not TNFα, CXCR4 and Mx, suggesting the metabolite promotes a phagocytosis role of macrophages, which is consistent with the finding that L-leucine promotes macrophages to kill both Gram-positive and negative bacterial pathogens. Therefore, the ability of phagocytosis enhanced by exogenous L-leucine is partly attributed to elevation of serine. These results demonstrate a metabolic mechanism by which exogenous L-leucine modulates tilapias’ metabolome to enhance innate immunity and eliminate pathogens.