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Human Lung Mononuclear Phagocytes in Health and Disease
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
2017 (English)In: Frontiers in Immunology, ISSN 1664-3224, E-ISSN 1664-3224, Vol. 8, 499Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The lungs are vulnerable to attack by respiratory insults such as toxins, allergens, and pathogens, given their continuous exposure to the air we breathe. Our immune system has evolved to provide protection against an array of potential threats without causing collateral damage to the lung tissue. In order to swiftly detect invading pathogens, monocytes, macrophages, and dendritic cells (DCs)-together termed mononuclear phagocytes (MNPs)-line the respiratory tract with the key task of surveying the lung microenvironment in order to discriminate between harmless and harmful antigens and initiate immune responses when necessary. Each cell type excels at specific tasks: monocytes produce large amounts of cytokines, macrophages are highly phagocytic, whereas DCs excel at activating naive T cells. Extensive studies in murine models have established a division of labor between the different populations of MNPs at steady state and during infection or inflammation. However, a translation of important findings in mice is only beginning to be explored in humans, given the challenge of working with rare cells in inaccessible human tissues. Important progress has been made in recent years on the phenotype and function of human lung MNPs. In addition to a substantial population of alveolar macrophages, three subsets of DCs have been identified in the human airways at steady state. More recently, monocyte-derived cells have also been described in healthy human lungs. Depending on the source of samples, such as lung tissue resections or bronchoalveolar lavage, the specific subsets of MNPs recovered may differ. This review provides an update on existing studies investigating human respiratory MNP populations during health and disease. Often, inflammatory MNPs are found to accumulate in the lungs of patients with pulmonary conditions. In respiratory infections or inflammatory diseases, this may contribute to disease severity, but in cancer patients this may improve clinical outcomes. By expanding on this knowledge, specific lung MNPs may be targeted or modulated in order to attain favorable responses that can improve preventive or treatment strategies against respiratory infections, lung cancer, or lung inflammatory diseases.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
FRONTIERS MEDIA SA , 2017. Vol. 8, 499
Keyword [en]
respiratory, pulmonary, monocytes, dendritic cells, macrophages, bronchoalveolar lavage, lung tissue, onchial tissue
National Category
Immunology in the medical area
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-136191DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.00499ISI: 000400317900002PubMedID: 28507549OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-136191DiVA: diva2:1120763
Available from: 2017-07-07 Created: 2017-07-07 Last updated: 2017-07-07Bibliographically approved

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