Regulatory T cells, mTOR kinase, and metabolic activity

Claudio Procaccini, Giuseppe Matarese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The field that links immunity and metabolism is rapidly expanding. Apparently, non-immunological disorders such as obesity and type 2 diabetes have been linked to immune dysregulation, suggesting that metabolic alterations can be induced by or be a consequence of an altered self-immune tolerance. In this context, a key role is played by signaling systems acting as metabolic "sensors" linking energy/nutritional status to regulatory T (Treg) cell functions. We propose that a dynamic/oscillatory activity of intracellular metabolism, through mTOR modulation, might represent a shift in understanding the molecular mechanisms governing Treg cell tolerance. In particular, the decision between Treg cell proliferation and hyporesponsiveness arises from their ability to probe the extracellular milieu and, modulating the metabolic intracellular signaling, to determine different qualitative and quantitative functional outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3975-3987
Number of pages13
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


  • Immune tolerance
  • Metabolism
  • MTOR
  • Treg cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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