The Intersection of Epigenetics and Metabolism in Trained Immunity

Immunity. 2021 Jan 12;54(1):32-43. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2020.10.011. Epub 2020 Nov 20.


The last few years have witnessed an increasing body of evidence that challenges the traditional view that immunological memory is an exclusive trait of the adaptive immune system. Myeloid cells can show increased responsiveness upon subsequent stimulation with the same or a different stimulus, well after the initial challenge. This de facto innate immune memory has been termed "trained immunity" and is involved in infections, vaccination and inflammatory diseases. Trained immunity is based on two main pillars: the epigenetic and metabolic reprogramming of cells. In this review we discuss the latest insights into the epigenetic mechanisms behind the induction of trained immunity, as well as the role of different cellular metabolites and metabolic networks in the induction, regulation and maintenance of trained immunity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cellular Reprogramming / immunology*
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Humans
  • Immune System / metabolism*
  • Immune System Diseases / immunology*
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways / immunology*
  • Myeloid Cells / immunology*