Macrophage Immunometabolism: Where Are We (Going)?

Trends Immunol. 2017 Jun;38(6):395-406. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2017 Apr 7.


A growing number of findings highlight the crucial role of metabolic reprogramming in macrophage activation. Metabolic pathways are closely interconnected and recent literature demonstrates the need for glucose metabolism in anti-inflammatory as well as inflammatory macrophages. Moreover, fatty acid oxidation (FAO) not only supports anti-inflammatory responses as described formerly but also drives inflammasome activation in inflammatory macrophages. Hence, defining glycolysis as proinflammatory and FAO as anti-inflammatory may be an oversimplification. Here we review how the rapid growth of the immunometabolism field has improved our understanding of macrophage activation and at the same time has led to an increase in the appearance of contradictory observations. To conclude we discuss current challenges in immunometabolism and present crucial areas for future research.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cellular Reprogramming
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism*
  • Glycolysis
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Macrophage Activation
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Macrophages / metabolism*
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*


  • Fatty Acids