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Nat Rev Immunol. 2003 Jan;3(1):23-35.

Alternative activation of macrophages.

Author information

  • Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3RE, UK. Christine.Holt@path.ox.ac.uk

Abstract

The classical pathway of interferon-gamma-dependent activation of macrophages by T helper 1 (T(H)1)-type responses is a well-established feature of cellular immunity to infection with intracellular pathogens, such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis and HIV. The concept of an alternative pathway of macrophage activation by the T(H)2-type cytokines interleukin-4 (IL-4) and IL-13 has gained credence in the past decade, to account for a distinctive macrophage phenotype that is consistent with a different role in humoral immunity and repair. In this review, I assess the evidence in favour of alternative macrophage activation in the light of macrophage heterogeneity, and define its limits and relevance to a range of immune and inflammatory conditions.

PMID:
12511873
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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