Acute lung injury: how macrophages orchestrate resolution of inflammation and tissue repair

Front Immunol. 2011 Nov 24;2:65. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2011.00065. eCollection 2011.


Lung macrophages are long living cells with broad differentiation potential, which reside in the lung interstitium and alveoli or are organ-recruited upon inflammatory stimuli. A role of resident and recruited macrophages in initiating and maintaining pulmonary inflammation in lung infection or injury has been convincingly demonstrated. More recent reports suggest that lung macrophages are main orchestrators of termination and resolution of inflammation. They are also initiators of parenchymal repair processes that are essential for return to homeostasis with normal gas exchange. In this review we will discuss cellular cross-talk mechanisms and molecular pathways of macrophage plasticity which define their role in inflammation resolution and in initiation of lung barrier repair following lung injury.

Keywords: inflammation; lung; macrophage; repair; resolution.