Causes of upregulation of glycolysis in lymphocytes upon stimulation. A comparison with other cell types.

Stark H, Fichtner M, König R, Lorkowski S, Schuster S (2015) Causes of upregulation of glycolysis in lymphocytes upon stimulation. A comparison with other cell types. Biochimie 118, 185-194. PubMed

Abstract

In this review, we revisit the metabolic shift from respiration to glycolysis in lymphocytes upon activation, which is known as the Warburg effect in tumour cells. We compare the situation in lymphocytes with those in several other cell types, such as muscle cells, Kupffer cells, microglia cells, astrocytes, stem cells, tumour cells and various unicellular organisms (e.g. yeasts). We critically discuss and compare several explanations put forward in the literature for the observation that proliferating cells adopt this apparently less efficient pathway: hypoxia, poisoning of competitors by end products, higher ATP production rate, higher precursor supply, regulatory effects, and avoiding harmful effects (e.g. by reactive oxygen species). We conclude that in the case of lymphocytes, increased ATP production rate and precursor supply are the main advantages of upregulating glycolysis.

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doi: 10.1016/j.biochi.2015.09.017 PMID: 26382968