Upon antigen recognition, naive T cells undergo rapid expansion and activation. The energy requirements for this expansion are formidable, and T-cell activation is accompanied by dramatic changes in cellular metabolism. Furthermore, the outcome of antigen engagement is guided by multiple cues derived from the immune microenvironment. Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is emerging as a central integrator of these signals playing a critical role in driving T-cell differentiation and function. Indeed, multiple metabolic programs are controlled by mTOR signaling. In this review, we discuss the role of mTOR in regulating metabolism and how these pathways intersect with the ability of mTOR to integrate cues that guide the outcome of T-cell receptor engagement.
© 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.