The metabolism of immune cells affects their function and influences host immunity. This review explores how immune cell metabolic phenotypes reflect biochemical dependencies and highlights evidence that both the metabolic state of immune cells and nutrient availability can alter immune responses. The central importance of oxygen, energetics, and redox homeostasis in immune cell metabolism, and how these factors are reflected in different metabolic phenotypes, is also discussed. Linking immune cell metabolic phenotype to effector functions is important to understand how altering metabolism can impact the way in which immune cells meet their metabolic demands and affect the immune response in various disease contexts.
The metabolic phenotype of immune cells reflects the biochemical adaptations these cells use to support function. This review summarizes how metabolism is adapted to meet the energetic and redox demands of immune cell populations.