Metabolic profile of immune cells

Researchers from the Cellular and Molecular Immunoregulation Research Group (CMI) from the Center for Translational Medicine (CTM) of the International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne’s University Hospital Brno (FNUSA-ICRC), Marcela Hortová-Kohoutková, Petra Lázničková and Jan Frič explain in their recently published review article how the metabolism of immune cells is closely linked to their function. Shortly after its publication, this article became very popular on the social network Twitter, making it among the top 5% of articles rated in the Altmetrics database. This database is designed to complement more traditional citation metrics.

Immune cells are involved in maintaining the internal integrity of the organism – they recognize and eliminate the external pathogens and perform immune surveillance over the internal environment of the organism. It has recently been shown that most immune cells change their metabolic profile very quickly (in the order of several tens of minutes), these changes are key to their proper function. Sufficient energy and functional metabolites, as well as the overall metabolic status of the individual, such as obesity or malnutrition, are decisive for the resulting immune response. At the same time, the metabolic profile of immune cells is modulated by nutrient availability. Knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of control of immunometabolism and possible intervention linked to this knowledge can accelerate the recovery of a patient with a deregulated immune system response and effectively restore these functions.

FNUSA-ICRC received funding for this research from grants from the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic (AZV) and the European Union (ENOCH and MAGNET). The article was published in the journal “BioEssays” and can be found here:, or you can view it by scanning the QR code.

The figure shows the effect of metabolism on the differences in the representation of individual subtypes of immune cells and mediators of the immune response in obese and malnourished individuals. The presence of these factors will determine how the resulting immune function will be performed.