Sarcoidosis is a disease of unknown etiology in which granulomas form throughout the body and is typically treated with glucocorticoids, but there are no approved steroid-sparing alternatives. Here, we investigated the mechanism of granuloma formation using single-cell RNA-Seq in sarcoidosis patients. We observed that the percentages of triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2–positive (TREM2-positive) macrophages expressing angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) and lysozyme, diagnostic makers of sarcoidosis, were increased in cutaneous sarcoidosis granulomas. Macrophages in the sarcoidosis lesion were hypermetabolic, especially in the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP). Expression of the PPP enzymes, such as fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase 1 (FBP1), was elevated in both systemic granuloma lesions and serum of sarcoidosis patients. Granuloma formation was attenuated by the PPP inhibitors in in vitro giant cell and in vivo murine granuloma models. These results suggest that the PPP may be a promising target for developing therapeutics for sarcoidosis.
Satoshi Nakamizo, Yuki Sugiura, Yoshihiro Ishida, Yoko Ueki, Satoru Yonekura, Hideaki Tanizaki, Hiroshi Date, Akihiko Yoshizawa, Teruasa Murata, Kenji Minatoya, Mikako Katagiri, Seitaro Nomura, Issei Komuro, Seishi Ogawa, Saeko Nakajima, Naotomo Kambe, Gyohei Egawa, Kenji Kabashima