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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|Published - 15 Sept 2015