Microglial and macrophage polarization—new prospects for brain repair.
Hu Xiaoming,Leak Rehana K,Shi Yejie,Suenaga Jun,Gao Yanqin,Zheng Ping,Chen Jun
Nature reviews. Neurology
The traditional view of the adult brain as a static organ has changed in the past three decades, with the emergence of evidence that it remains plastic and has some regenerative capacity after injury. In the injured brain, microglia and macrophages clear cellular debris and orchestrate neuronal restorative processes. However, activation of these cells can also hinder CNS repair and expand tissue damage. Polarization of macrophage populations toward different phenotypes at different stages of injury might account for this dual role. This Perspectives article highlights the specific roles of polarized microglial and macrophage populations in CNS repair after acute injury, and argues that therapeutic approaches targeting cerebral inflammation should shift from broad suppression of microglia and macrophages towards subtle adjustment of the balance between their phenotypes. Breakthroughs in the identification of regulatory molecules that control these phenotypic shifts could ultimately accelerate research towards curing brain disorders.
Exploring the full spectrum of macrophage activation.
Mosser David M,Edwards Justin P
Nature reviews. Immunology
Macrophages display remarkable plasticity and can change their physiology in response to environmental cues. These changes can give rise to different populations of cells with distinct functions. In this Review we suggest a new grouping of macrophage populations based on three different homeostatic activities - host defence, wound healing and immune regulation. We propose that similarly to primary colours, these three basic macrophage populations can blend into various other 'shades' of activation. We characterize each population and provide examples of macrophages from specific disease states that have the characteristics of one or more of these populations.