Immunometabolism in Human T Lymphocytes
Immunometabolism in human T lymphocytes.
Highly proliferating cells such as those within malignant tumours utilise aerobic glycolysis to overcome limited oxygen supplies and/or to obtain energy and produce macromolecules such as those used in neucliotide synthesis, rapidly. Naïve T cells have similarly been observed to employ aerobic glycolysis upon activation. The activated naïve T cells (effector T cells) largely rely on aerobic glycolysis for their energy supply probably to overcome the environments of low oxygen tension, such as within inflamed tissues. The mechanisms of metabolism in human memory and regulatory T cells however, remain unclear.
By investigating the roles of specific metabolic pathways in governing the expansion and function of each T cell subset, we hope to be able to develop new therapeutic strategies capable of targeting these pathways in the treatment of transplant rejection, autoimmune disease and cancer. For instance, during a rejection episode, by targeting the specific metabolic pathway used only by conventional T cells we could inhibit Tconv cells without affecting regulatory T cells which are advantageous in cell therapy in transplantation.