Immunometabolism changes in fibrosis: from mechanisms to therapeutic strategies
Immune cells are essential for initiating and developing the fibrotic process by releasing cytokines and growth factors that activate fibroblasts and promote extracellular matrix deposition. Immunometabolism describes how metabolic alterations affect the function of immune cells and how inflammation and immune responses regulate systemic metabolism. The disturbed immune cell function and their interactions with other cells in the tissue microenvironment lead to the origin and advancement of fibrosis. Understanding the dysregulated metabolic alterations and interactions between fibroblasts and the immune cells is critical for providing new therapeutic targets for fibrosis. This review provides an overview of recent advances in the pathophysiology of fibrosis from the immunometabolism aspect, highlighting the altered metabolic pathways in critical immune cell populations and the impact of inflammation on fibroblast metabolism during the development of fibrosis. We also discuss how this knowledge could be leveraged to develop novel therapeutic strategies for treating fibrotic diseases.