NF-B-Inducing Kinase Governs the Mitochondrial Respiratory Capacity, Differentiation, and Inflammatory Status of Innate Immune Cells. Academic Article uri icon


  • NF-B-inducing kinase (NIK), which is essential for the activation of the noncanonical NF-B pathway, regulates diverse processes in immunity, development, and disease. Although recent studies have elucidated important functions of NIK in adaptive immune cells and cancer cell metabolism, the role of NIK in metabolic-driven inflammatory responses in innate immune cells remains unclear. In this study, we demonstrate that murine NIK-deficient bone marrow-derived macrophages exhibit defects in mitochondrial-dependent metabolism and oxidative phosphorylation, which impair the acquisition of a prorepair, anti-inflammatory phenotype. Subsequently, NIK-deficient mice exhibit skewing of myeloid cells characterized by aberrant eosinophil, monocyte, and macrophage cell populations in the blood, bone marrow, and adipose tissue. Furthermore, NIK-deficient blood monocytes display hyperresponsiveness to bacterial LPS and elevated TNF- production ex vivo. These findings suggest that NIK governs metabolic rewiring, which is critical for balancing proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory myeloid immune cell function. Overall, our work highlights a previously unrecognized role for NIK as a molecular rheostat that fine-tunes immunometabolism in innate immunity, and suggests that metabolic dysfunction may be an important driver of inflammatory diseases caused by aberrant NIK expression or activity.

published proceedings

  • J Immunol

altmetric score

  • 5.8

author list (cited authors)

  • Keeney, J. N., Winters, A. D., Sitcheran, R., & West, A. P.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Keeney, Justin N||Winters, Ashley D||Sitcheran, Raquel||West, A Phillip

publication date

  • April 2023