Itaconate-producing neutrophils regulate local and systemic inflammation following trauma

Janna L. Crossley, Sonya Ostashevskaya-Gohstand, Stefano Comazzetto, Jessica S. Hook, Lei Guo, Neda Vishlaghi, Conan Juan, Lin Xu, Alexander R. Horswill, Gerta Hoxhaj, Jessica G. Moreland, Robert J. Tower*, Benjamin Levi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Modulation of the immune response to initiate and halt the inflammatory process occurs both at the site of injury as well as systemically. Due to the evolving role of cellular metabolism in regulating cell fate and function, tendon injuries that undergo normal and aberrant repair were evaluated by metabolic profiling to determine its impact on healing outcomes. Metabolomics revealed an increasing abundance of the immunomodulatory metabolite itaconate within the injury site. Subsequent single-cell RNA-Seq and molecular and metabolomic validation identified a highly mature neutrophil subtype, not macrophages, as the primary producers of itaconate following trauma. These mature itaconate-producing neutrophils were highly inflammatory, producing cytokines that promote local injury fibrosis before cycling back to the bone marrow. In the bone marrow, itaconate was shown to alter hematopoiesis, skewing progenitor cells down myeloid lineages, thereby regulating systemic inflammation. Therapeutically, exogenous itaconate was found to reduce injury-site inflammation, promoting tenogenic differentiation and impairing aberrant vascularization with disease-ameliorating effects.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere169208
JournalJCI Insight
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 2023
Externally publishedYes


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