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Giuseppe Matarese, MD, PhD - "Metabolic basis for immunological self-tolerance and susceptibility to infections"

Professor of Immunology, Treg Cell Lab, Dipartimento di Medicina Molecolare e Biotecnologie Mediche, Università di Napoli "Federico II" and IEOS-CNR, Napoli - Italy
When Feb 11, 2020
from 12:00 PM to 01:15 PM
Where Tigem, Auditorium Vesuvius
Contact Name
Contact Phone 08119230659
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Short CV

The field that links immunity and metabolism is rapidly expanding. Non-immunological disorders such as obesity and type 2 diabetes have been linked to immune dysregulation suggesting that metabolic alterations can be induced by or be consequence of an altered immunological self-tolerance. In this context, a key role is played by signaling systems acting as “metabolic sensors” linking energy/nutritional status with innate and adaptive immune cell functions. In this context, the adipose-tissue derived hormone leptin plays a major role.

T cell sensing of metabolic and energetic changes in the microenvironment can affect their differentiation, maturation, and activation. We have recently shown that metabolic manipulation of CD4+CD25- conventional T (Tconv) cells either via inhibition of mTOR or via leptin blockade, causes a defined transcriptional signature that determines the outcome of the response, including proliferation and effector functions. Further, we have analyzed the transcriptional response of CD4+CD25+Foxp3+  regulatory T (Treg) cells to the leptin-mTOR inhibition that was found dramatically different compared to Tconv cells, because it caused up-regulation of cell-proliferation signaling. These results strengthen the link between nutritional status and T cell activity, identifying the leptin–mTOR axis as a potential target for modulating Tconv/Treg balance in normal and pathologic conditions such as infections, autoimmunity and metabolic disorders (ie. obesity). Also, the involved gene signatures affected not only pathways of adaptive immunity but also those of innate immune responses thus suggesting an involvement of metabolism on immunity as “a whole”. The possibility to interfere, via metabolic manipulation and immunometabolism, on innate and adaptive immune responses should lead to novel approaches to treat different pathologic conditions such as infections, inflammation and autoimmunity.

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