The role of the local environment and epigenetics in shaping macrophage identity and their effect on tissue homeostasis

Ido Amit*, Deborah R. Winter, Steffen Jung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

171 Scopus citations

Abstract

Macrophages provide a critical systemic network cells of the innate immune system. Emerging data suggest that in addition, they have important tissue-specific functions that range from clearance of surfactant from the lungs to neuronal pruning and establishment of gut homeostasis. The differentiation and tissue-specific activation of macrophages require precise regulation of gene expression, a process governed by epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation, histone modification and chromatin structure. We argue that epigenetic regulation of macrophages is determined by lineage- and tissue-specific transcription factors controlled by the built-in programming of myeloid development in combination with signaling from the tissue environment. Perturbation of epigenetic mechanisms of tissue macrophage identity can affect normal macrophage tissue function and contribute to pathologies ranging from obesity and autoimmunity to neurodegenerative diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-25
Number of pages8
JournalNature Immunology
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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