Metabolism of tissue macrophages in homeostasis and pathology

Cell Mol Immunol. 2022 Mar;19(3):384-408. doi: 10.1038/s41423-021-00791-9. Epub 2021 Dec 7.


Cellular metabolism orchestrates the intricate use of tissue fuels for catabolism and anabolism to generate cellular energy and structural components. The emerging field of immunometabolism highlights the importance of cellular metabolism for the maintenance and activities of immune cells. Macrophages are embryo- or adult bone marrow-derived leukocytes that are key for healthy tissue homeostasis but can also contribute to pathologies such as metabolic syndrome, atherosclerosis, fibrosis or cancer. Macrophage metabolism has largely been studied in vitro. However, different organs contain diverse macrophage populations that specialize in distinct and often tissue-specific functions. This context specificity creates diverging metabolic challenges for tissue macrophage populations to fulfill their homeostatic roles in their particular microenvironment and conditions their response in pathological conditions. Here, we outline current knowledge on the metabolic requirements and adaptations of macrophages located in tissues during homeostasis and selected diseases.

Keywords: Tissue macrophages; homeostasis; metabolism; pathology; tissue regeneration.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Atherosclerosis* / metabolism
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Neoplasms* / metabolism
  • Tumor Microenvironment