Immunometabolism of Dendritic Cells and T Cells
In this short chapter, some aspects of immunometabolism of dendritic cells and T cells are briefly sketched. The dichotomous function of dendritic cells is associated with two different metabolic pathways. While resting dendritic cells use fatty acid oxidation to fuel the mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation pathway, activated immunostimulatory dendritic cells typically switch to aerobic glycolysis, the Otto Warburg metabolism. In contrast to the metabolism of immunostimulatory dendritic cells, an inherently catabolic process, the Krebs cycle and fatty acid oxidation, plays a significant role in the development of tolerogenic dendritic cells.
Like dendritic cells, T cells must adapt to a vast array of environmental DAMPs as part of their regular development, during which they undergo a dramatic metabolic remodelling process as well. Research in this modern area of T cell biology has yielded striking findings on the roles of diverse metabolic pathways and metabolites, which have been found to regulate T cell signalling and influence their differentiation, function, and fate. For example, like immunostimulatory dendritic cells, immune response-promoting activated helper T cell subsets switch their metabolism to aerobic glycolysis, whereas regulatory T cells are less dependent on glycolysis but rely on oxidation phosphorylation pathway. Together, it has now become apparent that the dynamic regulation of metabolic pathways in both cell types drives our immune system to shape distinct T cell responses as required by any given stressful and/or injurious situation.
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