Macrophages are best known as “big eaters” – phagocytic cells which specialize in engulfing and digesting pathogenic entities. Macrophages are also key immune response regulators, and can exhibit both pro- and anti-inflammatory paracrine activity depending on cell phenotype and environmental conditions.1
Research has attempted to manipulate macrophage behavior to alter immune-related responses, including inflammation, wound healing,2
and anti-cancer activity.4
However, the plasticity of macrophages complicates this endeavor.1
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1. A. Sica and A. Mantovani. “Macrophage plasticity and polarization: in vivo veritas,” J Clin Invest
122(3): 787-795, 2012.
2. T.J. Koh and L.A. DiPietro. “Inflammation and wound healing: the role of the macrophage,” Expert Rev Mol Med
3. B.A. Corliss, et al., “Macrophages: An Inflammatory Link between Angiogenesis and Lymphangiogenesis,” Microcirculation
23(2): 95-121, 2016.
4. M. Tariq, et al., “Macrophage Polarization: Anti-Cancer Strategies to Target Tumor-Associated Macrophage in Breast Cancer,” J Cell Biochem