Macrophage immunometabolism in diabetesassociated atherosclerosis

Bernardo Gindri Dos Santos, Leigh Goedeke

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Macrophages play fundamental roles in atherosclerotic plaque formation, growth, and regression. These cells are extremely plastic and perform different immune functions depending on the stimuli they receive. Initial in vitro studies have identified specific metabolic pathways that are crucial for the proper function of pro-inflammatory and pro-resolving macrophages. However, the plaque microenvironment, especially in the context of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, constantly challenges macrophages with several simultaneous inflammatory and metabolic stimuli, which may explain why atherosclerosis is accelerated in diabetic patients. In this mini review, we discuss how macrophage mitochondrial function and metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, and amino acids may be affected by this complex plaque microenvironment and how risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes alter the metabolic rewiring of macrophages and disease progression. We also briefly discuss current challenges in assessing macrophage metabolism and identify future tools and possible strategies to alter macrophage metabolism to improve treatment options for diabetes-associated atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E00032
JournalImmunometabolism (United States)
Issue number4
StatePublished - 16 Oct 2023


  • atherosclerosis
  • diabetes
  • insulin resistance
  • macrophage
  • metabolism


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