Biochemistry of Proinflammatory Macrophage Activation

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2018 Jun;75(12):2093-2109. doi: 10.1007/s00018-018-2784-1. Epub 2018 Mar 3.


In the last decade, metabolism has been recognized as a major determinant of immunological processes. During an inflammatory response, macrophages undergo striking changes in their metabolism. This metabolic reprogramming is governed by a complex interplay between metabolic enzymes and metabolites of different pathways and represents the basis for proper macrophage function. It is now evident that these changes go far beyond the well-known Warburg effect and the perturbation of metabolic targets is being investigated as a means to treat infections and auto-immune diseases. In the present review, we will aim to provide an overview of the metabolic responses during proinflammatory macrophage activation and show how these changes modulate the immune response.

Keywords: Infection; Inflammation; Itaconate; Macrophage; Metabolism; Succinate.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Communicable Diseases / immunology
  • Communicable Diseases / metabolism
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Glycolysis
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Macrophage Activation*
  • Macrophages / immunology*
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / immunology
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Succinates / immunology
  • Succinates / metabolism
  • Succinic Acid / immunology
  • Succinic Acid / metabolism


  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Succinates
  • Succinic Acid
  • itaconic acid