Macrophages, meta-inflammation, and immuno-metabolism

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Current research depicts specific modes of immunity and energy metabolism as being interrelated at the molecular, cellular, organ and organism level. Hence, whereas M2 (alternatively-activated) macrophages dominate insulin-sensitive adipose tissue in the lean, M1-skewed (classically-activated) macrophages accumulate in parallel to adiposity in the obese, and promote inflammation and insulin resistance, that is, meta-inflammation. The latest frontier of immuno-metabolism explores the coregulation of energy metabolism and immune function within hematopoietic cells. M1-skewed macrophages are sustained in edematous, hypoxic tissues by anaerobic glycolysis, whereas mitochondrial biogenesis and respiration dominates in M2 cells. We review the underlying mechanisms and the consequences of the transition from M2 to M1 predominance in adipose tissue, as well as the extracellular signals and transcription factors that control macrophage phenotypes and impose distinct metabolic modes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2509-2529
Number of pages21
JournalThe Scientific World Journal
StatePublished - 2011


  • inflamation
  • insulin resistance
  • macrophages
  • metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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