A cellular overview of immunometabolism in systemic lupus erythematosus
Psarras A., Clarke A.
Abstract Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a complex autoimmune disease, characterized by a breakdown of immune tolerance and the development of autoantibodies against nucleic self-antigens. Immunometabolism is a rapidly expanding scientific field investigating the metabolic programming of cells of the immune system. During the normal immune response, extensive reprogramming of cellular metabolism occurs, both to generate adenosine triphosphate and facilitate protein synthesis, and also to manage cellular stress. Major pathways upregulated include glycolysis, oxidative phosphorylation, the tricarboxylic acid cycle and the pentose phosphate pathway, among others. Metabolic reprogramming also occurs to aid resolution of inflammation. Immune cells of both patients with SLE and lupus-prone mice are characterized by metabolic abnormalities resulting in an altered functional and inflammatory state. Recent studies have described how metabolic reprogramming occurs in many cell populations in SLE, particularly CD4+ T cells, e.g. favouring a glycolytic profile by overactivation of the mechanistic target of rapamycin pathway. These advances have led to an increased understanding of the metabolic changes affecting the inflammatory profile of T and B cells, monocytes, dendritic cells and neutrophils, and how they contribute to autoimmunity and SLE pathogenesis. In the current review, we aim to summarize recent advances in the field of immunometabolism involved in SLE and how these could potentially lead to new therapeutic strategies in the future.