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Frontiers of Medicine

ISSN 2095-0217

ISSN 2095-0225(Online)

CN 11-5983/R

Postal Subscription Code 80-967

2018 Impact Factor: 1.847

Front. Med.    2018, Vol. 12 Issue (4) : 463-472
Regulation of T cell immunity by cellular metabolism
Zhilin Hu, Qiang Zou(), Bing Su()
Shanghai Institute of Immunology, Department of Immunology and Microbiology, Key Laboratory of Cell Differentiation and Apoptosis of Chinese Ministry of Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025, China
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T cells are an important adaptive immune response arm that mediates cell-mediated immunity. T cell metabolism plays a central role in T cell activation, proliferation, differentiation, and effector function. Specific metabolic programs are tightly controlled to mediate T cell immune responses, and alterations in T cell metabolism may result in many immunological disorders. In this review, we will summarize the main T cell metabolic pathways and the important factors participating in T cell metabolic programming during T cell homeostasis, differentiation, and function.

Keywords T cell immunity      metabolic pathways      nutrient uptake      metabolic checkpoints     
Corresponding Authors: Qiang Zou,Bing Su   
Just Accepted Date: 25 July 2018   Online First Date: 10 August 2018    Issue Date: 03 September 2018
 Cite this article:   
Zhilin Hu,Qiang Zou,Bing Su. Regulation of T cell immunity by cellular metabolism[J]. Front. Med., 2018, 12(4): 463-472.
Fig.1  Metabolic regulation of the T cell life cycle. The energy demands of naïve T cells mainly come from oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). After T cell receptor (TCR) stimulation, the naïve T cells differentiate into antigen-effector T cells, whose energy metabolism mainly depends on aerobic glycolysis and OXPHOS. Glycolytic metabolism distinguishes CD4 Th1, Th2, and Th17 effector cells from regulatory T cells (Treg). The development of Treg and memory T cells (Tmem) mainly depends on fatty acid oxidation (FAO) and catabolism. Membrane T cells reenter the resting state, and their energy metabolism depends on OXPHOS.
Fig.2  Simplified scheme of T cell metabolism regulated by mTOR signaling. TCR and CD28 signals induce the expression of metabolism-related genes, such as glucose transporter Glut1 (murine gene name Slc2a1), and increase the glucose uptake of T cells. Then, glucose is degraded by glycolysis to generate pyruvate molecules, lactate, or acetyl-CoA. Acetyl-CoA is required for the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle and utilized as a precursor of fatty acid synthesis (FAS). TCR and CD28 stimulation also induces AKT phosphorylation via PDK1 and mTORC2 and promotes mTORC1 activation, leading to the elevated glycolysis and increased levels of pyruvate molecules. By contrast, AMPK promotes FAO and inhibits FAS by negatively regulating ACC1/2. AMPK can inhibit mTOR activity to downregulate glycolysis. Therefore, mTOR and AMPK act as negative regulators for each other.
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