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Immunity. 2010 May 28;32(5):593-604. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2010.05.007.

Alternative activation of macrophages: mechanism and functions.

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Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3RE, UK.


The concept of an alternative pathway of macrophage activation has stimulated interest in its definition, mechanism, and functional significance in homeostasis and disease. We assess recent research in this field, argue for a restricted definition, and explore pathways by which the T helper 2 (Th2) cell cytokines interleukin-4 (IL-4) and IL-13 mediate their effects on macrophage cell biology, their biosynthesis, and responses to a normal and pathological microenvironment. The stage is now set to gain deeper insights into the role of alternatively activated macrophages in immunobiology.

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