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Beyond "Big Eaters": The Versatile Role of Alveolar Macrophages in Health and Disease.


ABSTRACT: Macrophages act as immune scavengers and are important cell types in the homeostasis of various tissues. Given the multiple roles of macrophages, these cells can also be found as tissue resident macrophages tightly integrated into a variety of tissues in which they fulfill crucial and organ-specific functions. The lung harbors at least two macrophage populations: interstitial and alveolar macrophages, which occupy different niches and functions. In this review, we provide the latest insights into the multiple roles of alveolar macrophages while unraveling the distinct factors which can influence the ontogeny and function of these cells. Furthermore, we will highlight pulmonary diseases, which are associated with dysfunctional macrophages, concentrating on congenital diseases as well as pulmonary infections and impairment of immunological pathways. Moreover, we will provide an overview about different treatment approaches targeting macrophage dysfunction. Improved knowledge of the role of macrophages in the onset of pulmonary diseases may provide the basis for new pharmacological and/or cell-based immunotherapies and will extend our understanding to other macrophage-related disorders.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC8036607 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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