We hypothesize that the energy strategy of a cell is a key factor for determining how, or if, the immune system interacts with that cell. Cells have a limited number of metabolic states, in part, depending on the type of fuels the cell consumes. Cellular fuels include glucose (carbohydrates), lipids (fats), and proteins. We propose that the cell's ability to switch to, and efficiently use, fat for fuel confers immune privilege. Additionally, because uncoupling proteins are involved in the fat burning process and reportedly in protection from free radicals, we hypothesize that uncoupling proteins play an important role in immune privilege. Thus, changes in metabolism (caused by oxidative stresses, fuel availability, age, hormones, radiation, or drugs) will dictate and initiate changes in immune recognition and in the nature of the immune response. This has profound implications for controlling the symptoms of autoimmune diseases, for preventing graft rejection, and for targeting tumor cells for destruction. © 2006 Newell et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Newell, M. K., Villalobos-Menuey, E., Schweitzer, S. C., Harper, M. E., & Camley, R. E. (2006, March 17). Cellular metabolism as a basis for immune privilege. Journal of Immune Based Therapies and Vaccines. https://doi.org/10.1186/1476-8518-4-1