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Nat Rev Immunol. 2014 Mar;14(3):166-80. doi: 10.1038/nri3607. Epub 2014 Jan 31.

Apoptotic cell clearance: basic biology and therapeutic potential.

Author information

1
1] Center for Cell Clearance and the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908, USA. [2] Department of Biochemistry, La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science, La Trobe University, Victoria 3086, Australia. [3].
2
1] MRC Centre for Inflammation Research, The Queen's Medical Research Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH16 4TJ, UK. [2].
3
MRC Centre for Inflammation Research, The Queen's Medical Research Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH16 4TJ, UK.
4
Center for Cell Clearance and the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908, USA.

Abstract

The prompt removal of apoptotic cells by phagocytes is important for maintaining tissue homeostasis. The molecular and cellular events that underpin apoptotic cell recognition and uptake, and the subsequent biological responses, are increasingly better defined. The detection and disposal of apoptotic cells generally promote an anti-inflammatory response at the tissue level, as well as immunological tolerance. Consequently, defects in apoptotic cell clearance have been linked with various inflammatory diseases and autoimmunity. Conversely, under certain conditions, such as the killing of tumour cells by specific cell-death inducers, the recognition of apoptotic tumour cells can promote an immunogenic response and antitumour immunity. Here, we review the current understanding of the complex process of apoptotic cell clearance in physiology and pathology, and discuss how this knowledge could be harnessed for new therapeutic strategies.

PMID:
24481336
PMCID:
PMC4040260
DOI:
10.1038/nri3607
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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