MicroRNA-223 is a crucial mediator of PPAR-regulated alternative macrophage activation. Academic Article uri icon


  • Polarized activation of adipose tissue macrophages (ATMs) is crucial for maintaining adipose tissue function and mediating obesity-associated cardiovascular risk and metabolic abnormalities; however, the regulatory network of this key process is not well defined. Here, we identified a PPAR/microRNA-223 (miR-223) regulatory axis that controls macrophage polarization by targeting distinct downstream genes to shift the cellular response to various stimuli. In BM-derived macrophages, PPAR directly enhanced miR-223 expression upon exposure to Th2 stimuli. ChIP analysis, followed by enhancer reporter assays, revealed that this effect was mediated by PPAR binding 3 PPAR regulatory elements (PPREs) upstream of the pre-miR-223 coding region. Moreover, deletion of miR-223 impaired PPAR-dependent macrophage alternative activation in cells cultured ex vivo and in mice fed a high-fat diet. We identified Rasa1 and Nfat5 as genuine miR-223 targets that are critical for PPAR-dependent macrophage alternative activation, whereas the proinflammatory regulator Pknox1, which we reported previously, mediated miR-223-regulated macrophage classical activation. In summary, this study provides evidence to support the crucial role of a PPAR/miR-223 regulatory axis in controlling macrophage polarization via distinct downstream target genes.

published proceedings

  • J Clin Invest

altmetric score

  • 1.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Ying, W., Tseng, A., Chang, R., Morin, A., Brehm, T., Triff, K., ... Zhou, B.

citation count

  • 89

complete list of authors

  • Ying, Wei||Tseng, Alexander||Chang, Richard Cheng-An||Morin, Andrew||Brehm, Tyler||Triff, Karen||Nair, Vijayalekshmi||Zhuang, Guoqing||Song, Hui||Kanameni, Srikanth||Wang, Haiqing||Golding, Michael C||Bazer, Fuller W||Chapkin, Robert S||Safe, Stephen||Zhou, Beiyan

publication date

  • November 2015