Obstacles and opportunities for understanding macrophage polarization.

Department of Infectious Diseases, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Pl., Memphis, TN 38105, USA.
Journal of leukocyte biology (Impact Factor: 4.99). 03/2011; 89(4):557-63. DOI: 10.1189/jlb.0710409
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Macrophages are now routinely categorized into phenotypic subtypes based on gene expression induced in response to cytokine and pathogen-derived stimulation. In the broadest division, macrophages are described as being CAMs (M1 macrophages) or AAMs (M2 macrophages) based on their exposure to TLR and IFN signals or Th2 cytokines, respectively. Despite the prolific use of this simple classification scheme, little is known about the precise functions of effector molecules produced by AAMs, especially how representative the CAM and AAM subtypes are of tissue macrophages in homeostasis, infection, or tissue repair and how plasticity in gene expression regulates macrophage function in vivo. Furthermore, correlations between mouse and human tissue macrophages and their representative subtypes are lacking and are a major barrier to understanding human immunity. Here, we briefly summarize current features of macrophage polarization and discuss the roles of various macrophage subpopulations and macrophage-associated genes in health and disease.

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    Frontiers in Immunology 01/2014; 5:532.
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    ABSTRACT: The M1 and M2 states of macrophage polarization are the two extremes of a physiologic/phenotypic continuum that is dynamically influenced by environmental signals. The M1/M2 paradigm is an excellent framework to understand and appreciate some of the diverse functions that macrophages perform. Molecular analysis of mouse and human macrophages indicated that they gain M1 and M2-related functions after encountering specific ligands in the tissue environment. In this perspective, I discuss the function of recepteur d'origine nantais (RON) receptor tyrosine kinase in regulating the M2-like state of macrophage activation Besides decreasing pro-inflammatory cytokine production in response to toll-like receptor-4 activation, macrophage-stimulating protein strongly suppresses nitric oxide synthase and at the same time upregulates arginase, which is the rate limiting enzyme in the ornithine biosynthesis pathway. Interestingly, RON signaling preserved some of the characteristics of the M1 state, while still promoting the hallmarks of M2 polarization. Therefore, therapeutic modulation of RON activity can shift the activation state of macrophages between acute and chronic inflammatory states.
    Frontiers in Immunology 10/2014; 5:546.
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    Journal of Neuroinflammation 12/2014; 11(1):1031. · 4.90 Impact Factor