Sensing the immune microenvironment to coordinate T cell metabolism, differentiation & function.

Research paper by Emily B EB Heikamp, Jonathan D JD Powell

Indexed on: 22 Jan '13Published on: 22 Jan '13Published in: Seminars in Immunology


Mounting an adaptive immune response is bioenergetically demanding. As a result, T cell activation coincides with profound changes in cellular metabolism that must be coordinated with instructive signals from cytokine and costimulatory receptors to generate an immune response. Studies examining the intimate link between metabolism and immune function have revealed that different types of T cells have distinct metabolic profiles. Data is emerging that place mTOR, an evolutionarily conserved serine-threonine kinase, as a central integrator of these processes. In this review, we will discuss the role of mTOR in determining both CD4 and CD8 T cell metabolism, differentiation, and trafficking.