Send to

Choose Destination
J Clin Cell Immunol. 2015 Apr;6(2). pii: 311.

Macrophage Polarization in Virus-Host Interactions.

Author information

Department of Anatomy and Physiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA.
Virus and Prion Diseases of Livestock Research Unit, National Animal Disease Center, USDA-ARS, 1920 Dayton Ave, Ames, IA 50010, USA.


Macrophage involvement in viral infections and antiviral states is common. However, this involvement has not been well-studied in the paradigm of macrophage polarization, which typically has been categorized by the dichotomy of classical (M1) and alternative (M2) statuses. Recent studies have revealed the complexity of macrophage polarization in response to various cellular mediators and exogenous stimuli by adopting a multipolar view to revisit the differential process of macrophages, especially those re-polarized during viral infections. Here, through examination of viral infections targeting macrophages/monocytic cells, we focus on the direct involvement of macrophage polarization during viral infections. Type I and type III interferons (IFNs) are critical in regulation of viral pathogenesis and host antiviral infection; thus, we propose to incorporate IFN-mediated antiviral states into the framework of macrophage polarization. This view is supported by the multifunctional properties of type I IFNs, which potentially elicit and regulate both M1- and M2-polarization in addition to inducing the antiviral state, and by the discoveries of viral mechanisms to adapt and modulate macrophage polarization. Indeed, several recent studies have demonstrated effective prevention of viral diseases through manipulation of macrophage immune statuses.


Antiviral state; Interferon; Macrophage polarization; Viral infection; Virus-host interaction

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center