Immunometabolism focuses on the mechanisms regulating the impact of metabolism on lymphocyte activity and autoimmunity outbreak. The adipose tissue is long known to release adipokines, either pro- or anti-inflammatory factors bridging nutrition and immune function. More recently, adipocytes were discovered to also release extracellular vesicles (EVs) containing a plethora of biological molecules, including metabolites and microRNAs, which can regulate cell function/metabolism in distant tissues, suggesting that immune regulatory function by the adipose tissue may be far more complex than originally thought. Moreover, EVs were also identified as important mediators of immune cell-to-cell communication, adding a further microenvironmental mechanism of plasticity to fine-tune specific lymphocyte responses. This Review will first focus on the known mechanisms by which metabolism impacts immune function, presenting a systemic (nutrition and long-ranged adipokines) and a cellular point of view (metabolic pathway derangement in autoimmunity). It will then discuss the new discoveries concerning how EVs may act as nanometric vehicles integrating immune/metabolic responses at the level of the extracellular environment and affecting pathological processes.
- Autoimmune Diseases/metabolism
- Extracellular Vesicles/metabolism
- Models, Biological
- Subcellular Fractions/metabolism