Mitochondrial Regulation of Macrophage Response Against Pathogens

Subhadip Choudhuri, Imran Hussain Chowdhury, Nisha Jain Garg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Innate immune cells play the first line of defense against pathogens. Phagocytosis or invasion by pathogens can affect mitochondrial metabolism in macrophages by diverse mechanisms and shape the macrophage response (proinflammatory vs. immunomodulatory) against pathogens. Besides β-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide 2'-phosphate, reduced (NADPH) oxidase, mitochondrial electron transport chain complexes release superoxide for direct killing of the pathogen. Mitochondria that are injured are removed by mitophagy, and this process can be critical for regulating macrophage activation. For example, impaired mitophagy can result in cytosolic leakage of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) that can lead to activation of cGAS–STING signaling pathway of macrophage proinflammatory response. In this review, we will discuss how metabolism, mtDNA, mitophagy, and cGAS–STING pathway shape the macrophage response to infectious agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number622602
JournalFrontiers in immunology
StatePublished - Feb 17 2021


  • innate immunity
  • macrophage
  • metabolism
  • mitochondria
  • mitophagy
  • noncoding RNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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