Author(s): Fleming BD, Mosser DM
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Macrophages exhibit remarkable plasticity and can change their phenotype in response to different environmental cues. They can become activated to kill intracellular microbes or they can assume regulatory properties to modulate immune responses. Regulatory macrophages are fundamentally different from classically activated, and we propose from non-classically activated macrophages; they arise in response to different stimuli and perform different physiological functions. They are likely to express unique biochemical markers that could be exploited to identify and potentially target these macrophage subsets in tissue. Furthermore, inducers of regulatory macrophages may have the potential to be used as anti-inflammatory therapeutics. Therefore, a better understanding of the various macrophage phenotypes may pave the way for new therapies that are directed at modulating macrophage functions or manipulating individual macrophage subsets.
This article was published in Eur J Immunol
and referenced in Immunotherapy: Open Access