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Results Probl Cell Differ. 2010;52:13-25. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-14426-4_2.

Regulation of nutrient metabolism and inflammation.

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Nutrition, Metabolism and Genomics Group, Division of Human Nutrition, Wageningen University, Bomenweg 2, 6703 HD, Wageningen, The Netherlands.


Metabolic and immune-related pathways intersect at numerous levels. Their common regulation is effectuated by several hormonal signaling routes that involve specific nuclear hormone receptors and adipokines. Glucocorticoids and leptin are hormones that play a key role in coordinating energy metabolism and food-seeking behavior during energy deficiency as does the nuclear hormone receptor Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptor α (PPARalpha). Importantly, the glucocorticoid, leptin, and PPARalpha signaling routes share a profound role in governing inflammation and other immune-related processes. Using specific examples, this chapter aims at illustrating the interplay between metabolism and immunity/inflammation by discussing common endocrine and transcriptional regulators of metabolism and inflammation and by highlighting the interaction between macrophages and metabolically active cells in liver and adipose tissue. Convergence of metabolic and immune signaling is likely at least partially driven by the evolutionary need during times of food insufficiency to minimize loss of energy to processes that are temporarily nonessential to the survival of the species.

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