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Immunity. 2015 Sep 15;43(3):421-34. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2015.08.023.

The Cellular and Molecular Basis of Translational Immunometabolism.

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Department of Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences, Università degli Studi di Milano, 20133 Milan, Italy; Center for the Study of Atherosclerosis, Bassini Hospital, Cinisello Balsamo, 20092 Milan, Italy. Electronic address:
Unité 1148, INSERM, Hôpital X Bichat, 75018 Paris, France; Université Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, 75013 Paris, France; Département Hospitalo-Universitaire "FIRE," 75018 Paris, France.
Department of Clinical Pathobiochemistry and Institute for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Technische Universität Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany.
Dipartimento di Medicina e Chirurgia, Università degli Studi di Salerno, Baronissi, 84081 Salerno, Italy; IRCCS MultiMedica, 20138 Milan, Italy.
Department of Internal Medicine and Radboud Center for Infectious Diseases, Radboud University Medical Center, 6525 GA Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland.
William Harvey Research Institute, Bart's and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London EC1M 6BQ, UK.


The immune response requires major changes to metabolic processes, and indeed, energy metabolism and functional activation are fully integrated in immune cells to determine their ability to divide, differentiate, and carry out effector functions. Immune cell metabolism has therefore become an attractive target area for therapeutic purposes. A neglected aspect in the translation of immunometabolism is the critical connection between systemic and cellular metabolism. Here, we discuss the importance of understanding and manipulating the integration of systemic and immune cell metabolism through in-depth analysis of immune cell phenotype and function in human metabolic diseases and, in parallel, of the effects of conventional metabolic drugs on immune cell differentiation and function. We examine how the recent identification of selective metabolic programs operating in distinct immune cell subsets and functions has the potential to deliver tools for cell- and function-specific immunometabolic targeting.

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