Impact of Lipid Metabolism on Macrophage Polarization: Implications for Inflammation and Tumor Immunity

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Macrophage polarization is influenced by lipids, which also exert significant control over macrophage functions. Lipids and their metabolites are players in intricate signaling pathways that modulate macrophages’ responses to pathogens, phagocytosis, ferroptosis, and inflammation. This review focuses on lipid metabolism and macrophage functions and addresses potential molecular targets for the treatment of macrophage-related diseases. While lipogenesis is crucial for lipid accumulation and phagocytosis in M1 macrophages, M2 macrophages likely rely on fatty acid β-oxidation to utilize fatty acids as their primary energy source. Cholesterol metabolism, regulated by factors such as SREBPs, PPARs, and LXRs, is associated with the cholesterol efflux capacity and the formation of foam cells (M2-like macrophages). Foam cells, which are targets for atherosclerosis, are associated with an increase in inflammatory cytokines. Lipolysis and fatty acid uptake markers, such as CD36, also contribute to the production of cytokines. Enhancing the immune system through the inhibition of lipid-metabolism-related factors can potentially serve as a targeted approach against tumor cells. Cyclooxygenase inhibitors, which block the conversion of arachidonic acid into various inflammatory mediators, influence macrophage polarization and have generated attention in cancer research.

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International Journal of Molecular Sciences



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