Natural killer (NK) cells quickly mount cytotoxic responses, produce cytokines, and proliferate in response to infected or transformed cells. Moreover, they can develop memory, with enhanced effector responses following activation, in some cases with antigen specificity. To optimally execute these functions, NK cells undergo metabolic reprogramming. Here, we discuss the interplay between metabolism and NK cell function in the context of viral infections. We review findings supporting metabolic regulation of NK cell effector functions, with a focus on NK cell antiviral infection in the context of cytomegalovirus in the mouse (MCMV) and human (HCMV).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-534
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Leukocyte Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2 2023


  • cytokines
  • cytomegalovirus infection
  • cytotoxicity
  • interferon gamma
  • memory
  • metabolism
  • natural killer cells
  • proliferation


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