Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Integrative Life Sciences

First Advisor

John Ryan


The metabolic pathways required for adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production within the cell are well understood, however recent publications suggest that metabolic pathways are closely linked to immune cell activation and inflammatory diseases. There has been little examination of the metabolic pathways that modulate mast cell activation and the feedback regulator lactic acid. Here we examine metabolic pathways and regulation within mast cells in the context of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and interleukin (IL-33) activation, for which there has been little to no reported studies. First, we examine the effects of lactic acid, previously considered only a by-product of glycolysis and now understood to act as a negative feedback regulator of inflammation in the context of LPS activation and sepsis. Lactic acid is elevated in septic patients and associated with mortality, potentially due to suppressive effects on LPS signaling and contribution to late phase immunosuppression. By attenuating glycolysis and reducing ATP availability for signaling and cytokine transcription, lactic acid impairs the function of immune cells to fight the initial or subsequent infections. We support this with in vitro and in vivo data. Additionally, our lab has published that lactic acid can suppress IL-33 activation, potentially by metabolic modulation as with LPS activation; however there has been no study of the metabolic requirements for IL-33 activation. We report here that glycolysis is required for ATP and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production to augment signaling and cytokine production downstream of the IL-33 receptor. Together, these studies examine the contribution of metabolism to mast cell activation and may provide potential targets for treatments of diseases that involve LPS- or IL-33-dependent mast cell activation.


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Available for download on Monday, May 08, 2023