Metabolism and epigenetics at the heart of T cell function

Leticia Soriano-Baguet, Dirk Brenner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


T cell subsets adapt and rewire their metabolism according to their functions and surrounding microenvironment. Whereas naive T cells rely on mitochondrial metabolic pathways characterized by low nutrient requirements, effector T cells induce kinetically faster pathways to generate the biomass and energy needed for proliferation and cytokine production. Recent findings support the concept that alterations in metabolism also affect the epigenetics of T cells. In this review we discuss the connections between T cell metabolism and epigenetic changes such as histone post-translational modifications (PTMs) and DNA methylation, as well as the 'extra-metabolic' roles of metabolic enzymes and molecules. These findings collectively point to a new group of potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of T cell-dependent autoimmune diseases and cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-244
Number of pages14
JournalTrends in Immunology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • acetylation
  • DNA
  • epigentics
  • histone
  • metabolism
  • methylation
  • NAD
  • T cells


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