Author(s): DelmastroGreenwood MM, Piganelli JD
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Abstract The breakdown of nutrients into the critical energy source ATP is the general purpose of cellular metabolism and is essential for sustaining life. Similarly, the immune system is composed of different cell subsets that are indispensable for defending the host against pathogens and disease. The interplay between metabolic pathways and immune cells leads to a plethora of different signaling pathways as well as cellular activities. The activation of T cells via glycolysis-mediated upregulation of surface markers, for example, is necessary for an appropriate effector response against an infection. However, tight regulation of immune cell metabolism is required for protecting the host and resuming homeostasis. An imbalance of immunological metabolic function and/or metabolic byproducts (reactive oxygen species) can oftentimes lead to diseases. In the case of cancer, overactive glucose metabolism can lead to hyperproliferation of cells and subsequent decreases in cytotoxic T cell activity, which attack and destroy the tumor. For this reason and many more, targeting metabolism in immune cells may be a novel therapeutic strategy for treatment of disease. The metabolic pathways of immune cells and the possibilities of immunometabolic therapies will be discussed.
This article was published in Am J Clin Exp Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Oncology Translational Research