JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

The Warburg effect then and now: from cancer to inflammatory diseases

Eva M Palsson-McDermott, Luke A J O'Neill
BioEssays: News and Reviews in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology 2013, 35 (11): 965-73
24115022
Inflammatory immune cells, when activated, display much the same metabolic profile as a glycolytic tumor cell. This involves a shift in metabolism away from oxidative phosphorylation towards aerobic glycolysis, a phenomenon known as the Warburg effect. The result of this change in macrophages is to rapidly provide ATP and metabolic intermediates for the biosynthesis of immune and inflammatory proteins. In addition, a rise in certain tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates occurs notably in citrate for lipid biosynthesis, and succinate, which activates the transcription factor Hypoxia-inducible factor. In this review we take a look at the emerging evidence for a role for the Warburg effect in the immune and inflammatory responses. The reprogramming of metabolic pathways in macrophages, dendritic cells, and T cells could have relevance in the pathogenesis of inflammatory and metabolic diseases and might provide novel therapeutic strategies.

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