alexa Contrasting phagosome pH regulation and maturation in human M1 and M2 macrophages.


Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology

Author(s): Canton J, Khezri R, Glogauer M, Grinstein S

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Abstract Macrophages respond to changes in environmental stimuli by assuming distinct functional phenotypes, a phenomenon referred to as macrophage polarization. We generated classically (M1) and alternatively (M2) polarized macrophages--two extremes of the polarization spectrum--to compare the properties of their phagosomes. Specifically, we analyzed the regulation of the luminal pH after particle engulfment. The phagosomes of M1 macrophages had a similar buffering power and proton (equivalent) leakage permeability but significantly reduced proton-pumping activity compared with M2 phagosomes. As a result, only the latter underwent a rapid and profound acidification. By contrast, M1 phagosomes displayed alkaline pH oscillations, which were caused by proton consumption upon dismutation of superoxide, followed by activation of a voltage- and Zn(2+)-sensitive permeation pathway, likely HV1 channels. The paucity of V-ATPases in M1 phagosomes was associated with, and likely caused by, delayed fusion with late endosomes and lysosomes. The delayed kinetics of maturation was, in turn, promoted by the failure of M1 phagosomes to acidify. Thus, in M1 cells, elimination of pathogens through deployment of the microbicidal NADPH oxidase is given priority at the expense of delayed acidification. By contrast, M2 phagosomes proceed to acidify immediately in order to clear apoptotic bodies rapidly and effectively. © 2014 Canton et al. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (
This article was published in Mol Biol Cell and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology

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