Apoptotic leukocyte clearance is a hallmark of the resolution of inflammation and is a central fate-determining event for macrophages. The directional migration of motile phagocytes toward cellular corpses and the subsequent engulfment are tightly regulated, and the exciting molecular mechanisms for these complex steps are actively under investigation. In this issue Angsana et al. [Eur. J. Immunol. 2016. 46: 1592-1599.] report that the chemokine receptor CXCR4 is upregulated on murine and human macrophages following the engulfment of apoptotic cells, or following exposure to the pro-resolving nucleotide adenosine. This work, together with other recent findings, point toward a new mode of regulation of macrophages following the engulfment of apoptotic cells. In this commentary, we put these findings in relevant perspective and highlight its potential ramifications.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors received no specific direct funding for this work. The laboratory of Amiram Ariel is supported by the Israeli Science foundation (grant No. 678/13) and the Rosetrees Trust (grant No. A1053) and that of Kodi Ravichandran was supported by U.S. National Institutes of Health via GM064709, GM107848, and HL120840). The funding agencies had no role in the decision to publish this article or in its preparation.
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ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy