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Nature. 2013 Apr 25;496(7446):445-55. doi: 10.1038/nature12034.

Macrophage biology in development, homeostasis and disease.

Author information

1
Immunopathogenesis Section, Program in Tissue Immunity and Repair and Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20877-8003, USA. twynn@niaid.nih.gov

Abstract

Macrophages, the most plastic cells of the haematopoietic system, are found in all tissues and show great functional diversity. They have roles in development, homeostasis, tissue repair and immunity. Although tissue macrophages are anatomically distinct from one another, and have different transcriptional profiles and functional capabilities, they are all required for the maintenance of homeostasis. However, these reparative and homeostatic functions can be subverted by chronic insults, resulting in a causal association of macrophages with disease states. In this Review, we discuss how macrophages regulate normal physiology and development, and provide several examples of their pathophysiological roles in disease. We define the 'hallmarks' of macrophages according to the states that they adopt during the performance of their various roles, taking into account new insights into the diversity of their lineages, identities and regulation. It is essential to understand this diversity because macrophages have emerged as important therapeutic targets in many human diseases.

PMID:
23619691
PMCID:
PMC3725458
DOI:
10.1038/nature12034
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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