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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2005 Sep;62(18):2132-9.

Identification of factor XIII-A as a marker of alternative macrophage activation.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Medical and Health Science Centre, University of Debrecen, 4012, Debrecen, Hungary.


Factor XIII subunit A of blood coagulation (FXIII-A) is known to be synthesized but not secreted by the monocyte/macrophage cell line. On the basis of its intracellular localization and substrate profile, FXIII-A is thought to be involved in certain intracellular processes. Our present study was designed to monitor the changes in FXIII-A gene expression and protein production in long-term culture of human monocytes during their differentiation into macrophages in the presence of activating agents (interleukin-4, interferon-gamma, Mycobacterium bovis BCG) inducing classical and alternative activation pathways. By using quantitative RT-PCR and fluorescent image analysis at the single-cell level we demonstrated that the expression of FXIII-A both at the mRNA as well as at the protein level is inversely regulated during the two activation programmes. Here we conclude that FXIII-A expression is an intracellular marker for alternatively activated macrophages, while its absence in monocyte-derived macrophages indicates their classically activated state.

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