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New insights into the multidimensional concept of macrophage ontogeny, activation and function

Nature Immunology volume 17, pages 3440 (2016) | Download Citation

Abstract

Macrophages have protective roles in immunity to pathogens, tissue development, homeostasis and repair following damage. Maladaptive immunity and inflammation provoke changes in macrophage function that are causative of disease. Despite a historical wealth of knowledge about macrophages, recent advances have revealed unknown aspects of their development and function. Following development, macrophages are activated by diverse signals. Such tissue microenvironmental signals together with epigenetic changes influence macrophage development, activation and functional diversity, with consequences in disease and homeostasis. We discuss here how recent discoveries in these areas have led to a multidimensional concept of macrophage ontogeny, activation and function. In connection with this, we also discuss how technical advances facilitate a new roadmap for the isolation and analysis of macrophages at high resolution.

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Acknowledgements

F.G. and S.K.B. are supported by core funding from the Singapore Immunology Network (A*STAR).

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN), A*STAR, Singapore, Singapore.

    • Florent Ginhoux
    •  & Subhra K Biswas
  2. Genomics & Immunoregulation, LIMES (Life & Medical Sciences) Institute, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany.

    • Joachim L Schultze
  3. German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Bonn, Germany.

    • Joachim L Schultze
  4. Department of Infectious Diseases, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, USA.

    • Peter J Murray
  5. Department of Immunology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, USA.

    • Peter J Murray
  6. Department of Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York, USA.

    • Jordi Ochando
  7. Immunología de Trasplantes, Centro Nacional de Microbiología, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain.

    • Jordi Ochando

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All authors contributed equally to this work.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Florent Ginhoux or Joachim L Schultze or Peter J Murray or Jordi Ochando or Subhra K Biswas.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/ni.3324

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