FcγRI (CD64): an identity card for intestinal macrophages

Eur J Immunol. 2012 Dec;42(12):3136-40. doi: 10.1002/eji.201243061.


Macrophages are becoming increasingly recognized as key cellular players in intestinal immune homeostasis. However, differentiating between macrophages and dendritic cells (DCs) is often difficult, and finding a specific phenotypic signature for intestinal macrophage identification has remained elusive. In this issue of the European Journal of Immunology, Tamoutounour et al. [Eur. J. Immunol. 2012. 42: 3150-3166] identify CD64 as a specific macrophage marker that can be used to discriminate DCs from macrophages in the murine small and large intestine, under both steady-state and inflammatory conditions. The authors also propose a sequential 'monocyte-waterfall' model for intestinal macrophage differentiation, with implications for immune tolerance and inflammation at the gut mucosal interface. This Commentary will discuss the advantages and potential limitations of CD64 as a marker for intestinal macrophages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Colitis / immunology*
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology*
  • Lymph Nodes / immunology*
  • Macrophages / immunology*
  • Mesentery / immunology*
  • Receptors, IgG / immunology*
  • Th1 Cells / immunology*


  • Receptors, IgG