Alternatively activated macrophages in types 1 and 2 diabetes

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Macrophages are innate immune cells derived from monocytes, which, in turn, arise from myeloid precursor cells in the bone marrow. Macrophages have many important roles in the innate and adaptive immune response, as well as in tissue homeostasis. Two major populations have been defined: The classically activated macrophages that respond to intracellular pathogens by secreting proinflammatory cytokines and reactive oxygen species and alternatively activated macrophages which are induced during Th2 responses displaying anti-inflammatory activities. Both macrophage populations are central players in diabetes, the first one triggering inflammatory responses which initiates insulitis and pancreatic β cell death during type 1 diabetes, whereas the second population decreases hyperglycemia, insulitis, and inflammation in the pancreas, thereby negatively regulate type 1 diabetes. Obesity is an important factor in the development of type 2 diabetes; classically activated macrophages are a dominant cell population involved in the establishment of the inflammatory profile, insulin resistance, and activation of inflammatory signals during the development and progression of this disease. In contrast, alternatively activated macrophages regulate the release of proinflammatory cytokines, attenuating adipose tissue inflammation. Here, we review the advantages and disadvantages of these two macrophage populations with regard to their roles in types 1 and 2 diabetes.




Espinoza-Jiménez, A., Peón, A. N., & Terrazas, L. I. (2012). Alternatively activated macrophages in types 1 and 2 diabetes. Mediators of Inflammation.

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