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Immuno-metabolism in tumor microenvironment

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Metabolism is essential to life and plays roles in every tissue and organ in the body, including the immune system. Tumors reprogram metabolic pathways to satisfy their proliferation and survival requirements. Thus, microenvironment of malignant epithelial cells develops hypoxia, low pH (acidosis), and ...

Metabolism is essential to life and plays roles in every tissue and organ in the body, including the immune system. Tumors reprogram metabolic pathways to satisfy their proliferation and survival requirements. Thus, microenvironment of malignant epithelial cells develops hypoxia, low pH (acidosis), and nutrient depletion, joint to a chronic inflammatory process; all together, these factors give origin to a harsh environment, which exerts different effects on the cells present in it, such as stroma, tumor and immune cells. Under these conditions immunosupression has been observed.

To generate a successful response, T cells must undergo a metabolic reprogramming to switch from a state of quiescence to a rapidly growing cell, which activates, proliferates and undergoes clonal expansion. These processes require generation of ATP, synthesis of
proteins, lipids and nucleic acids. Because of these unique metabolic demands, recently, there has been a renewed interest in the study of “immuno-metabolism”. Besides T cells, other immune cells (such as macrophages, monocytes, natural killer cells, dendritic cells and B lymphocytes) may be also metabolically affected by the tumor, and these alterations may be responsible for failure of spontaneously or induced anti-tumor immunity.

However, the consequence of tumor-induced changes on immune cell metabolism are beginning to be elucidated. In this research topic, we will present the most recent
development on the alterations in the metabolism of cells of the innate and adaptive immune system, induced by tumor cells and tumor microenvironment. Thus, the goal of this topic is to provide a better understanding of metabolic alterations on immune cells during tumor development that may lead to the identification of important control points that will possibly be specific targets for the treatment of cancer.


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