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Am J Pathol. 2011 Jan;178(1):19-25. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2010.08.003. Epub 2010 Dec 23.

Wound macrophages as key regulators of repair: origin, phenotype, and function.

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Division of Surgical Research, Department of Surgery, Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.


Recent results call for the reexamination of the phenotype of wound macrophages and their role in tissue repair. These results include the characterization of distinct circulating monocyte populations with temporally restricted capacities to migrate into wounds and the observation that the phenotype of macrophages isolated from murine wounds partially reflects those of their precursor monocytes, changes with time, and does not conform to current macrophage classifications. Moreover, findings in genetically modified mice lacking macrophages have confirmed that these cells are essential to normal wound healing because their depletion results in retarded and abnormal repair. This mini-review focuses on current knowledge of the phenotype of wound macrophages, their origin and fate, and the specific macrophage functions that underlie their reparative role in injured tissues, including the regulation of the cellular infiltration of the wound and the production of transforming growth factor-β and vascular endothelial growth factor.

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