Metabolic homeostasis is fundamental for the development and the survival of animals. It requires the proper functioning of pathways that control the sensing and processing of nutrients, the storage and mobilization of energy. Recent data demonstrate that energy homeostasis and immune responses are tightly connected and that inaccurate metabolic regulation can adversely influence immune functions. Dysfunctions of the immune system have been demonstrated to underlie many chronic metabolic diseases, including diabetes, metabolic syndrome and atherosclerosis. The molecular mechanisms behind the cross-regulation of metabolism and immunity in health and disease are only beginning to emerge. We use the model organism Drosophila melanogaster to gain insights into evolutionary conserved mechanisms by which energy homeostasis and innate immunity interact.
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