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A controlled and self-limiting inflammatory reaction generally results in removal of the injurious agent and repair of the damaged tissue. However, in chronic inflammation, immune responses become dysregulated and prolonged, leading to tissue destruction. The role of metabolic reprogramming in orchestrating appropriate immune responses has gained increasing attention in recent years. Proliferation and differentiation of the T cell subsets that are needed to address homeostatic imbalance is accompanied by a series of metabolic adaptations, as T cells traveling from nutrient-rich secondary lymphoid tissues to sites of inflammation experience a dramatic shift in microenvironment conditions. How T cells integrate information about the local environment, such as nutrient availability or oxygen levels, and transfer these signals to functional pathways remains to be fully understood. In this review, we discuss how distinct subsets of CD4+ T cells metabolically adapt to the conditions of inflammation and whether these insights may pave the way to new treatments for human inflammatory diseases.

Original publication




Journal article


Front Immunol

Publication Date





Th cells, Th17 cells, Th1 cells, Th2 cells, inflammation, metabolism, microenvironment, regulatory T cells, Animals, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Humans, Inflammation