Treatments for metabolic diseases, such as diet and therapeutics, often provide short-term therapy for metabolic stressors, but relapse is common. Repeated bouts of exposure to, and relief from, metabolic stimuli results in a phenomenon we call "metabolic cycling." Recent human and rodent data suggest metabolic cycling promotes an exaggerated response and ultimately worsened metabolic health. This is particularly evident with cycling of body weight and hypertension. The innate and adaptive immune systems have a profound impact on development of metabolic disease, and current data suggest that immunologic memory may partially explain this association, especially in the context of metabolic cycling. In this Brief Review, we highlight recent work in this field and discuss potential immunologic mechanisms for worsened disease prognosis in individuals who experience metabolic cycling.
Copyright © 2018 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.