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PhD defence C. Draijer - Macrophages in asthma

When:Fr 29-04-2016 at 12:45
Where:Academy Building

Macrophages in asthma

In her study Christina Draijer aimed to investigate how these macrophage subsets contribute to the development and progression of asthma.

Macrophages are immune cells that are abundantly present in the lung, though their contribution to asthma development and progression is unclear. Macrophages have diverse functions in the lung and they can easily change phenotype to accommodate these many functions. The three main phenotypes are pro-inflammatory M1, pro-repair M2 and anti-inflammatory M2-like.

Draijer found that asthma in humans and experimental asthma in mice is characterized by higher numbers of M1 and M2 macrophages and lower numbers of M2-like macrophages. Tracing studies taught us that these higher numbers of M1 and M2 develop locally from proliferating alveolar macrophages and phenotype switching of interstitial macrophages. When we inhibited the development of M2 macrophages in experimental asthma we found the eosinophilic inflammation and remodeling of airways were inhibited but were replaced by neutrophilic inflammation with higher numbers of M1 macrophages and more airway hyperresponsivess. Induction of M2-like macrophages by treating with PGE2 was more promising as a therapeutic strategy because this inhibited overall inflammation. Interestingly, in asthma patients who used corticosteroids we also found higher numbers of M2-like macrophages, which correlated with less M1 macrophages being present. Therefore new treatment options may want to focus on the induction of the protective M2-like macrophages in asthma, especially for those patients that do not respond to corticosteroid treatment.


Promotores Prof.dr. B.N. Melgert and Prof.dr. K. Poelstra

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