Transcriptional Control of Macrophage Polarization
Macrophages are key regulators of many organ systems, including innate and adaptive immunity, systemic metabolism, hematopoiesis, vasculogenesis, malignancy, and reproduction. The pleiotropic roles of macrophages are mirrored by similarly diverse cellular phenotypes. A simplified schema classifies macrophages as M1, classically activated macrophages, or M2, alternatively activated macrophages. These cells are characterized by their expression of cell surface markers, secreted cytokines and chemokines, and transcription and epigenetic pathways. Transcriptional regulation is central to the differential speciation of macrophages, and several major pathways have been described as essential for subset differentiation. In this review, we discuss the transcriptional regulation of macrophages.
- Received January 6, 2013.
- Accepted March 12, 2013.
- © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.