Research ArticleMACROPHAGES

Functional heterogeneity of alveolar macrophage population based on expression of CXCL2

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Science Immunology  07 Aug 2020:
Vol. 5, Issue 50, eaba7350
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aba7350

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Complementing macrophage functions

Alveolar macrophages play an important role in the defense against a wide range of respiratory pathogens. Xu-Vanpala et al. have characterized the roles of alveolar macrophages in response to pulmonary fungal infections in mice. By studying antifungal immune responses in Cxcl2-gfp reporter mice, the authors found CXCL2+ alveolar macrophages to be pro-inflammatory, whereas CXCL2-negative alveolar macrophages produced immunoregulatory molecules, including interleukin-10 and complement component 1q (C1q). Although these two populations had distinct metabolic, epigenetic, and transcriptional profiles, these cell populations were plastic. By using C1q-deficient mice, the authors report that C1q plays an important role in dampening antifungal immune responses in the lung. The studies highlight a previously unappreciated link between tissue macrophages and the complement system.

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