Like T helper cells, macrophages also polarize to distinct phenotypes expressing unique cell surface molecules and secreting discrete sets of cytokines and chemokines. The classical M1 phenotype supports proinflammatory Th1 responses driven by cytokines such as IL-12 and IL-23, while the alternate M2 phenotype is generally supportive of anti-inflammatory processes driven by IL-10. M2 cells can be further classified into subsets, M2a, M2b, and M2c, based on the type of stimulation and the subsequent expression of surface molecules and cytokines. Recently, IRF5 was found to be a critical transcription factor controlling M1 differentiation while suppressing the M2 phenotype.

Read more:
1. Martinez, F.O., et al. 2008. Frontiers in Bioscience. 13:453. PubMed
2. Krausgruber, T. et al. 2011. Nature Immunology 12:231. PubMed

 
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Right: Recombinant Human TGF-β1 inhibits the proliferation of TH-2 cells induced by IL-4.

 
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