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Review

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Monocytes and Macrophages Regulate Immunity through Dynamic Networks of Survival and Cell Death

Parihar A.c · Eubank T.D.a · Doseff A.I.a, b

Author affiliations

aDepartment of Internal Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care, Heart and Lung Research Institute, and bDepartment of Molecular Genetics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA; cDepartment of Biological Sciences, GDC College, Vikram University, Ujjain, India

Corresponding Author

Dr. Andrea I. Doseff

Heart and Lung Research Institute, The Ohio State University

473 West 12th Ave.

Columbus, OH 43220 (USA)

Tel. +1 614 292 9507, Fax +1 614 293 4799, E-Mail doseff.1@osu.edu

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J Innate Immun 2010;2:204–215

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Abstract

Monocytes and macrophages are central cells of the innate immune system, responsible for defending against diverse pathogens. While they originate from a common myeloid precursor and share functions in innate immunity, each has a very distinct life span finely tuned by the apoptotic caspases. Normally, circulating monocytes are short-lived and undergo spontaneous apoptosis on a daily basis. Macrophages, however, have a longer life span. In chronic inflammatory diseases and, as recently recognized, in the tumor microenvironment, the inhibition of the apoptotic program promotes monocyte survival contributing to the accumulation of macrophages and the persistence of an inflammatory milieu. A complex network of differentiation factors and inflammatory stimuli determine monocyte/macrophage life span by blocking the apoptotic pathway and activating a myriad of survival pathways. Our understanding of apoptosis has flourished over the last decade, and its relevance in the regulation of the immune system is now indisputable. Nevertheless, how the complicated networks of survival and apoptotic regulators are integrated to determine cellular life span remains elusive. This review summarizes the contribution of the caspases and their regulators in monocyte/macrophage cell fate and discusses how these molecules orchestrate the initiation, maintenance, and resolution of inflammation. More provocatively, we discuss possible strategies to control inflammation by manipulating leukocyte life span.

© 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel


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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Review

Received: December 21, 2009
Accepted: February 10, 2010
Published online: March 16, 2010
Issue release date: April 2010

Number of Print Pages: 12
Number of Figures: 1
Number of Tables: 1

ISSN: 1662-811X (Print)
eISSN: 1662-8128 (Online)

For additional information: https://www.karger.com/JIN


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