Changes in Nutritional Status Impact Immune Cell Metabolism and Function.
Immune cell function and metabolism are closely linked. Many studies have now clearly demonstrated that alterations in cellular metabolism influence immune cell function and that, conversely, immune cell function determines the cellular metabolic state. Less well understood, however, are the effects of systemic metabolism or whole organism nutritional status on immune cell function and metabolism. Several studies have demonstrated that undernutrition is associated with immunosuppression, which leads to both increased susceptibility to infection and protection against several types of autoimmune disease, whereas overnutrition is associated with low-grade, chronic inflammation that increases the risk of metabolic and cardiovascular disease, promotes autoreactivity, and disrupts protective immunity. Here, we review the effects of nutritional status on immunity and highlight the effects of nutrition on circulating cytokines and immune cell populations in both human studies and mouse models. As T cells are critical members of the immune system, which direct overall immune response, we will focus this review on the influence of systemic nutritional status on T cell metabolism and function. Several cytokines and hormones have been identified which mediate the effects of nutrition on T cell metabolism and function through the expression and action of key regulatory signaling proteins. Understanding how T cells are sensitive to both inadequate and overabundant nutrients may enhance our ability to target immune cell metabolism and alter immunity in both malnutrition and obesity.
Alwarawrah, Y; Kiernan, K; MacIver, NJ
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