Immunometabolism: From basic mechanisms to translation.


Immunometabolism has emerged as a major mechanism central to adaptive and innate immune regulation. From early observations that inflammatory cytokines were induced in obese adipose tissue and that these cytokines contributed to metabolic disease, it was clear that metabolism and the immunological state are inextricably linked. With a second research wave arising from studies in cancer metabolism to also study the intrinsic metabolic pathways of immune cells themselves and how those pathways influence cell fate and function, immunometabolism is a rapidly maturing area of research. Several key themes and goals drive the field. There is abundant evidence that metabolic pathways are closely tied to cell signaling and differentiation which leads different subsets of immune cells to adopt unique metabolic programs specific to their state and environment. In this way, metabolic signaling drives cell fate. It is also apparent that microenvironment greatly influences cell metabolism. Immune cells adopt programs specific for the tissues where they infiltrate and reside. Ultimately, a central goal of the field is to apply immunometabolism findings to the discovery of novel therapeutic strategies in a wide range of diseases, including cancer, autoimmunity, and metabolic syndrome. This review summarizes these facets of immunometabolism and highlights opportunities for clinical translation.