Macrophages in the embryo and beyond: Much more than just giant phagocytes

Institute for Molecular Bioscience and Cooperative Research Centre for Chronic Inflammatory Diseases (CRC-CID), University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
genesis (Impact Factor: 2.02). 09/2008; 46(9):447 - 462. DOI: 10.1002/dvg.20417

ABSTRACT Originally recognized as an essential part of the innate and acquired immune systems, macrophages emerged as omnipresent and influential regulators of embryo- and organo-genesis, as well as of tissue and tumor growth. Macrophages are present essentially in all tissues, beginning with embryonic development and, in addition to their role in host defense and in the clearance of apoptotic cells, are being increasingly recognized for their trophic function and role in regeneration. Some tissue macrophages are also found to posses a substantial potential for autonomous self-renewal. Macrophages are associated with a significant proportion of malignant tumors and are widely recognized for their angiogenesis-promoting and trophic roles, making them one of the new promising targets for cancer therapies. Recent expression profiling of embryonic macrophages from different tissues revealed remarkable consistency of their gene expression profiles, independent of their tissue of origin, as well as their similarities with tumor-associated macrophages. Macrophages are also capable of fusion with other cells in tissue repair and metastasizing tumors, as well as with each other in the immune response and osteoclastogenesis. genesis 46:447–462, 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Download full-text


Available from: Dmitry A Ovchinnikov, Sep 19, 2014
767 Reads
  • Source
    • "Another important component of the lung organogenic milieu is the tissue macrophage. Traditionally associated with host defence, inflammation and scavenging functions, a greater appreciation of macrophage diversity has revealed broader functions of macrophages including vital roles in tissue repair [2-6] and organ development [7-11]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Macrophages are traditionally associated with inflammation and host defence, however a greater understanding of macrophage heterogeneity is revealing their essential roles in non-immune functions such as development, homeostasis and regeneration. In organs including the brain, kidney, mammary gland and pancreas, macrophages reside in large numbers and provide essential regulatory functions that shape organ development and maturation. However, the role of macrophages in lung development and the potential implications of macrophage modulation in the promotion of lung maturation have not yet been ascertained. Methods: Embryonic day (E)12.5 mouse lungs were cultured as explants and macrophages associated with branching morphogenesis were visualised by wholemount immunofluorescence microscopy. Postnatal lung development and the correlation with macrophage number and phenotype were examined using Colony-stimulating factor-1 receptor-enhanced green fluorescent protein (Csf1r-EGFP) reporter mice. Structural histological examination was complemented with whole-body plethysmography assessment of postnatal lung functional maturation over time.Flow cytometry, real-time (q)PCR and immunofluorescence microscopy were performed to characterise macrophage number, phenotype and localisation in the lung during postnatal development. To assess the impact of developmental macrophage modulation, CSF-1 was administered to neonatal mice at postnatal day (P)1, 2 and 3, and lung macrophage number and phenotype were assessed at P5. EGFP transgene expression and in situ hybridisation was performed to assess CSF-1R location in the developing lung. Results: Macrophages in embryonic lungs were abundant and densely located within branch points during branching morphogenesis. During postnatal development, structural and functional maturation of the lung was associated with an increase in lung macrophage number. In particular, the period of alveolarisation from P14-21 was associated with increased number of Csf1r-EGFP+ macrophages and upregulated expression of Arginase 1 (Arg1), Mannose receptor 1 (Mrc1) and Chemokine C-C motif ligand 17 (Ccl17), indicative of an M2 or tissue remodelling macrophage phenotype. Administration of CSF-1 to neonatal mice increased trophic macrophages during development and was associated with increased expression of the M2-associated gene Found in inflammatory zone (Fizz)1 and the growth regulator Insulin-like growth factor (Igf)1. The effects of CSF-1 were identified as macrophage-mediated, as the CSF-1R was found to be exclusively expressed on interstitial myeloid cells. Conclusions: This study identifies the presence of CSF-1R+ M2-polarised macrophages localising to sites of branching morphogenesis and increasing in number during the alveolarisation stage of normal lung development. Improved understanding of the role of macrophages in lung developmental regulation has clinical relevance for addressing neonatal inflammatory perturbation of development and highlights macrophage modulation as a potential intervention to promote lung development.
    Respiratory research 04/2013; 14(1):41. DOI:10.1186/1465-9921-14-41 · 3.09 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Clinical and experimental evidence indicates that tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) promote malignant progression. In breast cancer, TAMs enhance tumor angiogenesis, tumor cell invasion, matrix remodeling, and immune suppression against the tumor. In this study, we examined late-stage mammary tumors from a transgenic mouse model of breast cancer. We used flow cytometry under conditions that minimized gene expression changes to isolate a rigorously defined TAM population previously shown to be associated with invasive carcinoma cells. The gene expression signature of this population was compared with a similar population derived from spleens of non-tumor-bearing mice using high-density oligonucleotide arrays. Using stringent selection criteria, transcript abundance of 460 genes was shown to be differentially regulated between the two populations. Bioinformatic analyses of known functions of these genes indicated that formerly ascribed TAM functions, including suppression of immune activation and matrix remodeling, as well as multiple mediators of tumor angiogenesis, were elevated in TAMs. Further bioinformatic analyses confirmed that a pure and valid TAM gene expression signature in mouse tumors could be used to assess expression of TAMs in human breast cancer. The data derived from these more physiologically relevant autochthonous tumors compared with previous studies in tumor xenografts suggest tactics by which TAMs may regulate tumor angiogenesis and thus provide a basis for exploring other transcriptional mediators of TAM trophic functions within the tumor microenvironment.
    American Journal Of Pathology 03/2009; 174(3):1048-64. DOI:10.2353/ajpath.2009.080676 · 4.59 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The molecular mechanisms that underlie the development of primitive myeloid cells in vertebrate embryos are not well understood. Here we characterize the role of cebpa during primitive myeloid cell development in Xenopus. We show that cebpa is one of the first known hematopoietic genes expressed in the embryo. Loss- and gain-of-function studies show that it is both necessary and sufficient for the development of functional myeloid cells. In addition, we show that cebpa misexpression leads to the precocious induction of myeloid cell markers in pluripotent prospective ectodermal cells, without the cells transitioning through a general mesodermal state. Finally, we use live imaging to show that cebpa-expressing cells exhibit many attributes of terminally differentiated myeloid cells, such as highly active migratory behavior, the ability to quickly and efficiently migrate toward wounds and phagocytose bacteria, and the ability to enter the circulation. Thus, C/EPBalpha is the first known single factor capable of initiating an entire myelopoiesis pathway in pluripotent cells in the embryo.
    Blood 06/2009; 114(1):40-8. DOI:10.1182/blood-2008-11-189159 · 10.45 Impact Factor
Show more