Complex Interactions Between the Immune System and Metabolism

A second area of interest of our lab is the study of the complex interplay between the immune system and metabolism. In fact, the white adipose tissue is no longer considered just a fat depot; it is known to be an active source of a variety of cytokines with differing functions, named “adipokines.” Adipokines not only regulate metabolic pathways, but can also regulate immune and inflammatory responses. Recently, we have shown that a regimen of calorie restriction (CR) ameliorates the EAE model. It is likely that this is a consequence of the numerous metabolic, hormonal and cytokine/adipokine changes induced by CR. Currently we are dissecting out the different pathways activated during CR to assess their importance in mediating the beneficial effects of this dietary regimen in EAE. The ultimate goal is to translate our results to humans.