Hypoxia is a hallmark of inflamed, infected or damaged tissue, and the adaptation to inadequate tissue oxygenation is regulated by hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs). HIFs are key mediators of the cellular response to hypoxia, but they are also associated with pathological stress such as inflammation, bacteriological infection or cancer. In addition, HIFs are central regulators of many innate and adaptive immunological functions, including migration, antigen presentation, production of cytokines and antimicrobial peptides, phagocytosis as well as cellular metabolic reprogramming. A characteristic feature of immune cells is their ability to infiltrate and operate in tissues with low level of nutrients and oxygen. The objective of this article is to discuss the role of HIFs in the function of innate and adaptive immune cells in hypoxia, with a focus on how hypoxia modulates immunometabolism.
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