OPINION: Fine tuning of immunometabolism for the treatment of rheumatic diseases
All immune cells depend on specific and efficient metabolic pathways to mount an appropriate response. Over the past decade, the field of immunometabolism has expanded our understanding of the various means by which cells modulate metabolism to achieve the effector functions necessary to fight infection or maintain homeostasis. Harnessing these metabolic pathways to manipulate inappropriate immune responses as a therapeutic strategy in cancer and autoimmunity has received increasing scrutiny by the scientific community. Fine tuning immunometabolism to provide the desired response, or prevent a deleterious response, is an attractive alternative to chemotherapy or overt immunosuppression. The various metabolic pathways used by immune cells in rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and osteoarthritis offer numerous opportunities for selective targeting of specific immune cell subsets to manipulate cellular metabolism for therapeutic benefit in these rheumatologic diseases.