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Tissue-resident macrophages: then and now

Davies, Luke Cynlais and Taylor, Philip Russel ORCID: 2015. Tissue-resident macrophages: then and now. Immunology 144 (4) , pp. 541-548. 10.1111/imm.12451

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Macrophages have been at the heart of immune research for over a century and are an integral component of innate immunity. Macrophages are often viewed as terminally differentiated monocytic phagocytes. They infiltrate tissues during inflammation, and form polarized populations that perform pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory functions. Tissue-resident macrophages were regarded as differentiated monocytes, which seed the tissues to perform immune sentinel and homeostatic functions. However, tissue-resident macrophages are not a homogeneous population, but are in fact a grouping of cells with similar functions and phenotypes. In the last decade, it has been revealed that many of these cells are not terminally differentiated and, in most cases, are not derived from haematopoiesis in the adult. Recent research has highlighted that tissue-resident macrophages cannot be grouped into simple polarized categories, especially in vivo, when they are exposed to complex signalling events. It has now been demonstrated that the tissue environment itself is a major controller of macrophage phenotype, and can influence the expression of many genes regardless of origin. This is consistent with the concept that cells within different tissues have diverse responses in inflammation. There is still a mountain to climb in the field, as it evolves to encompass not only tissue-resident macrophage diversity, but also categorization of specific tissue environments and the plasticity of macrophages themselves. This knowledge provides a new perspective on therapeutic strategies, as macrophage subsets can potentially be manipulated to control the inflammatory environment in a tissue-specific manner.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Additional Information: Article first published online 9 March 2015
Publisher: Wiley Blackwell
ISSN: 0019-2805
Date of Acceptance: 9 February 2015
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2022 08:59

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