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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2014 Feb;17:17-23. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2013.10.007. Epub 2013 Dec 5.

Macrophages clean up: efferocytosis and microbial control.

Author information

1
Department of Immunology & Infectious Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, United States.
2
Department of Microbiology and Physiological Systems, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01655, United States.
3
Department of Microbiology and Physiological Systems, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01655, United States. Electronic address: samuel.behar@umassmed.edu.

Abstract

Phagocytic leukocytes, predominantly macrophages, not only ingest and destroy invading pathogens, but are charged with clearing dead and dying host cells. The process of engulfing apoptotic cells is called efferocytosis and has long been appreciated for its role in the resolution of inflammation. New evidence is emerging that efferocytosis represents a double-edged sword in microbial immunity. Although efferocytosis of influenza and Mycobacterium tuberculosis-infected cells results in pathogen destruction, efferocytosis of Leishmania-infected neutrophils may promote infection. Understanding how macrophages, dendritic cells (DC) and neutrophils process pathogens encased within a dying cell could lead to the development of novel therapeutics that simultaneously suppress inflammation and promote pathogen clearance.

PMID:
24581688
PMCID:
PMC3942671
DOI:
10.1016/j.mib.2013.10.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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