How immune-cell fate and function are determined by metabolic pathway choice The bioenergetics underlying the immune response



Year of publication 2021
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source BioEssays
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Medicine

Keywords energy demand; immune-cell polarization; immunometabolism; nutrient availability
Description Immune cells are highly dynamic in their response to the tissue environment. Most immune cells rapidly change their metabolic profile to obtain sufficient energy to engage in defensive or homeostatic processes. Such "immunometabolism" is governed through intermediate metabolites, and has a vital role in regulating immune-cell function. The underlying metabolic reactions are shaped by the abundance and accessibility of specific nutrients, as well as the overall metabolic status of the host. Here, we discuss how different immune-cell types gain a sufficient energy supply. We then explain how immune cells perform various functions under challenged conditions and expend energy to sustain homeostasis. Finally, we speculate on how the immune-cell metabolic profile might be modulated in health and disease, by manipulating nutrient availability. By such intervention, the recovery of patient with dysregulated immune system responses might be sped up and the fitness of an individual efficiently restored.

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