Analysis of mycobacterial infection-induced changes to host lipid metabolism in a zebrafish infection model reveals a conserved role for LDLR in infection susceptibility.

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Journal Article
Fish Shellfish Immunol, 2018, 83, pp. 238-242
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Changes to lipid metabolism are well-characterised consequences of human tuberculosis infection but their functional relevance are not clearly elucidated in these or other host-mycobacterial systems. The zebrafish-Mycobacterium marinum infection model is used extensively to model many aspects of human-M. tuberculosis pathogenesis but has not been widely used to study the role of infection-induced lipid metabolism. We find mammalian mycobacterial infection-induced alterations in host Low Density Lipoprotein metabolism are conserved in the zebrafish model of mycobacterial pathogenesis. Depletion of LDLR, a key lipid metabolism node, decreased M. marinum burden, and corrected infection-induced altered lipid metabolism resulting in decreased LDL and reduced the rate of macrophage transformation into foam cells. Our results demonstrate a conserved role for infection-induced alterations to host lipid metabolism, and specifically the LDL-LDLR axis, across host-mycobacterial species pairings.
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