Characterisation and trophic functions of murine embryonic macrophages based upon the use of a Csf1r-EGFP transgene reporter

Fiona Rae, Kyra Woods, Tedjo Sasmono, Naomi Campanale, Darrin Taylor, Dmitry A Ovchinnikov, Sean M Grimmond, David A Hume, Sharon D Ricardo, Melissa H Little

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


All solid organs contain resident monocyte-derived cells that appear early in organogenesis and persist throughout life. These cells are critical for normal development in some organs. Here we report the use of a previously described transgenic line, with EGFP driven by the macrophage-restricted Csf1r (c-fms) promoter, to image macrophage production and infiltration accompanying organogenesis in many tissues. Using microarray analysis of FACS-isolated EGFP-positive cells, we show that fetal kidney, lung and brain macrophages show similar gene expression profiles irrespective of their tissue of origin. EGFP-positive cells appeared in the renal interstitium from 12 days post coitum, prior to nephrogenesis, and maintain a close apposition to renal tubules postnatally. CSF-1 added to embryonic kidney explants increased overall renal growth and ureteric bud branching. Expression profiling of tissue macrophages and of CSF-1-treated explants showed evidence of the alternate, pro-proliferative (M2) activation profile, including expression of macrophage mannose receptor (CD206), macrophage scavenger receptor 2 (Msr2), C1q, CD163, selenoprotein P, CCL24 and TREM2. This response has been associated with the trophic role of tumour-associated macrophages. These findings suggest a trophic role of macrophages in embryonic kidney development, which may continue to play a similar role in postnatal repair.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-46
Number of pages15
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Animals
  • Brain/cytology
  • Brain/embryology
  • Brain/metabolism
  • Embryonic Development/genetics
  • Embryonic Development/physiology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins/genetics
  • Kidney/cytology
  • Kidney/embryology
  • Kidney/metabolism
  • Lung/cytology
  • Lung/embryology
  • Lung/metabolism
  • Macrophages/cytology
  • Macrophages/metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Organogenesis/genetics
  • Organogenesis/physiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Receptor, Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor/genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins/genetics


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