Impact Factor 4.716 | CiteScore 4.71
More on impact ›

Mini Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Immunol. | doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.02278

NK Cell Metabolism and Tumor Microenvironment

  • 1Immunopathology Group, BioCruces Health research Institute, Spain

Natural Killer (NK) cells are characterized by their potential to kill tumor cells by different means without previous sensitization and therefore, they have become a valuable tool in cancer immunotherapy. However, their efficacy against solid tumors is still poor and further studies are required to improve it. One of the major restrictions for NK cell activity is the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment (TME). There, tumor and other immune cells create the appropriate conditions for tumor proliferation while, among others, preventing NK cell activation. Furthermore, NK cell metabolism is impaired in the TME, presumably due to nutrient and oxygen deprivation, and the higher concentration of tumor-derived metabolic end products, such as lactate. This metabolic restriction of NK cells limits their effector functions, and it could represent a potential target to focus on to improve the efficacy of NK cell-based therapies against solid tumors. In this review, we discuss the potential effect of TME into NK cell metabolism and its influence in NK cell effector functions.

Keywords: NK cells, Metabolism, Glucose, Glycolysis, Amino acid, hypoxia, Tumor microenviroment, TME

Received: 05 Jul 2019; Accepted: 09 Sep 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Terrén, Orrantia, Vitalle, Zenarruzabeitia and Borrego. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Francisco Borrego, BioCruces Health research Institute, Immunopathology Group, Barakaldo, Spain, francisco.borregorabasco@osakidetza.net