Macrophages are pivotal cells involved in chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. In fact, during these diseases, activated macrophages may play a critical role, promoting the inflammation as well as mediating the damage resolution. This dichotomy is referred to two end-stage phenotypes of macrophages, conventionally known as M1 and M2, playing a pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory role, respectively. The M1 macrophages are the mainly subset involved during inflammatory processes, producing pro-inflammatory mediators. Conversely, the M2 macrophages are proposed to contribute to the resolution phase of inflammation, when cells with pro-resolving property are recruited and activated. In fact, this subset of macrophages may activate regulatory T lymphocytes, which play a critical role in the maintenance of peripheral tolerance and preventing the occurrence of autoimmune diseases. On these bases, the polarization toward the M2 phenotype could play a therapeutic role for autoimmune diseases. In this Review we discussed the characteristic of M1 and M2 macrophages, focusing on the immunoregulatory role of M2 cells and their potential ability to control the inflammation and to promote the immunological tolerance.

Macrophages with regulatory functions, a possible new therapeutic perspective in autoimmune diseases

Giacomelli R
2019-01-01

Abstract

Macrophages are pivotal cells involved in chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. In fact, during these diseases, activated macrophages may play a critical role, promoting the inflammation as well as mediating the damage resolution. This dichotomy is referred to two end-stage phenotypes of macrophages, conventionally known as M1 and M2, playing a pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory role, respectively. The M1 macrophages are the mainly subset involved during inflammatory processes, producing pro-inflammatory mediators. Conversely, the M2 macrophages are proposed to contribute to the resolution phase of inflammation, when cells with pro-resolving property are recruited and activated. In fact, this subset of macrophages may activate regulatory T lymphocytes, which play a critical role in the maintenance of peripheral tolerance and preventing the occurrence of autoimmune diseases. On these bases, the polarization toward the M2 phenotype could play a therapeutic role for autoimmune diseases. In this Review we discussed the characteristic of M1 and M2 macrophages, focusing on the immunoregulatory role of M2 cells and their potential ability to control the inflammation and to promote the immunological tolerance.
Autoimmune diseases; Macrophages; Regulatory macrophages; Rheumatoid arthritis
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12610/1018
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