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Study of the influence of arginine metabolism on the immunometabolic profile of macrophages

Grant number: 21/01147-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2021
Effective date (End): April 30, 2023
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Immunology - Cellular Immunology
Principal researcher:Marcelo Alves da Silva Mori
Grantee:Ana Julia Estumano Martins
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/07607-8 - OCRC - Obesity and Comorbidities Research Center, AP.CEPID


Mitochondria is an organelle that is involved in metabolic processes, in different organisms, from the simplest to the most complex. This important organelle is linked to cellular processes such as: partition in energy metabolism, regulation of important processes for the cell, such as autophagy and lipid synthesis, recent studies have shown that mitochondria have an important role in immunity. Immune response cells, such as macrophages, are extremely dependent on mitochondrial function, with mitochondria as a key organelle for the regulation of the immune response. Macrophages have numerous functions, including phagocytosis, presentation of antigens and production of cytokines. Arginine is an amino acid that is involved in the immune response of macrophages and in the complex function of mitochondria. However, the use of this amino acid by macrophages / monocytes and by mitochondria is not completely elucidated. Literature data indicate that the inhibition of arginase increases the synthesis of Nitric Oxide (NO) in activated macrophages, and the activity of arginase may be an important factor in the regulation of NO synthesis during activation of immune cells. It is not yet clear how these mechanisms influence each other. It is important to understand how the mitochondrial dynamics affects and is affected by arginine metabolism, considering that these are important aspects for the development of diseases, which can become a new therapeutic target in both metabolic and infectious diseases. The objective of the project is to analyze the influence of arginine on mitochondrial metabolism, on the immune response of macrophages and how arginine metabolism is modulated in a model of Obesity-induced insulin resistance and infection by the protozoan Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis. (AU)

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