An abundant tissue macrophage population in the adult murine heart with a distinct alternatively-activated macrophage profile

Alexander R Pinto, Rosa Paolicelli, Ekaterina Salimova, Janko Gospocic, Esfir Slonimsky, Daniel Bilbao-Cortes, James W Godwin, Nadia A Rosenthal

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Cardiac tissue macrophages (cTMs) are a previously uncharacterised cell type that we have identified and characterise here as an abundant GFP(+) population within the adult Cx(3)cr1(GFP/+) knock-in mouse heart. They comprise the predominant myeloid cell population in the myocardium, and are found throughout myocardial interstitial spaces interacting directly with capillary endothelial cells and cardiomyocytes. Flow cytometry-based immunophenotyping shows that cTMs exhibit canonical macrophage markers. Gene expression analysis shows that cTMs (CD45(+)CD11b(+)GFP(+)) are distinct from mononuclear CD45(+)CD11b(+)GFP(+) cells sorted from the spleen and brain of adult Cx(3)cr1(GFP/+) mice. Gene expression profiling reveals that cTMs closely resemble alternatively-activated anti-inflammatory M2 macrophages, expressing a number of M2 markers, including Mrc1, CD163, and Lyve-1. While cTMs perform normal tissue macrophage homeostatic functions, they also exhibit a distinct phenotype, involving secretion of salutary factors (including IGF-1) and immune modulation. In summary, the characterisation of cTMs at the cellular and molecular level defines a potentially important role for these cells in cardiac homeostasis.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere36814
Number of pages11
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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