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Transcriptional regulation and macrophage differentiation

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Original languageEnglish
Article numberMCHD-0024-2015
Number of pages19
JournalMicrobiology Spectrum
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2016


Monocytes and macrophages are professional phagocytes that occupy specific niches in every tissue of the body. Their survival, proliferation, and differentiation are controlled by signals from the macrophage colony-stimulating factor receptor (CSF-1R) and its two ligands, CSF-1 and interleukin-34. In this review, we address the developmental and transcriptional relationships between hematopoietic progenitor cells, blood monocytes, and tissue macrophages as well as the distinctions from dendritic cells. A huge repertoire of receptors allows monocytes, tissue-resident macrophages,
or pathology-associated macrophages to adapt to specific microenvironments. These processes create a broad spectrum of macrophages with different functions and individual effector capacities. The production of large transcriptomic data sets in mouse, human, and other species provides new insights into the mechanisms that underlie macrophage functional plasticity.

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