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Immunol Rev. 2015 Nov;268(1):52-65. doi: 10.1111/imr.12347.

bIgG time for large eaters: monocytes and macrophages as effector and target cells of antibody-mediated immune activation and repression.

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Department of Biology, Institute of Genetics, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany.


The mononuclear phagocytic system consists of a great variety of cell subsets localized throughout the body in immunological and non-immunological tissues. While one of their prime tasks is to detect, phagocytose, and kill intruding microorganisms, they are also involved in maintaining tissue homeostasis and immune tolerance toward self through removal of dying cells. Furthermore, monocytes and macrophages have been recognized to play a critical role for mediating immunoglobulin G (IgG)-dependent effector functions, including target cell depletion, tissue inflammation, and immunomodulation. For this, monocyte and macrophage populations are equipped with a complex set of Fc-receptors, enabling them to directly interact with pro- or anti-inflammatory IgG preparations. In this review, we will summarize the most recent findings, supporting a central role of monocytes and macrophages for pro- and anti-inflammatory IgG activity.


Fc-receptor; antibody; inflammation; macrophage; monocyte

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