From advances in the knowledge of the immune system, it is emerging that the specialized functions displayed by macrophages during the course of an immune response are supported by specific and dynamically-connected metabolic programs. The study of immunometabolism is demonstrating that metabolic adaptations play a critical role in modulating inflammation and, conversely, inflammation deeply influences the acquisition of specific metabolic settings. This strict connection has been proven to be crucial for the execution of defined immune functional programs and it is now under investigation with respect to several human disorders, such as diabetes, sepsis, cancer, and autoimmunity. The abnormal remodelling of the metabolic pathways in macrophages is now emerging as both marker of disease and potential target of therapeutic intervention. By focusing on key pathological conditions, namely obesity and diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis and cancer, we will review the metabolic targets suitable for therapeutic intervention in macrophages. In addition, we will discuss the major obstacles and challenges related to the development of therapeutic strategies for a pharmacological targeting of macrophage's metabolism.
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