The phosphatidylinositol-3 kinases (PI3Ks) and the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway have long been recognised as critically regulating metabolism, growth or survival. Recent data indicate that these molecules are also integral players in coordinating defence mechanisms in the innate immune system. In this respect, PI3K and mTOR positively regulate immune cell activation in neutrophils and mast cells. In plasmacytoid dendritic cells, these pathways have recently emerged as important regulators for type I interferon production via activation of the interferon-regulatory factor 7. Interestingly, in myeloid immune cells, PI3K and mTOR seem to constrain full immune cell activation by upregulation of the key anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin 10 and inhibition of proinflammatory cytokines. These new insights into innate immune cell regulation may pave the way for manipulating distinct features of the innate immune system for therapeutic treatment of various inflammatory diseases and for implementation of improved vaccination strategies.
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