Flow Cytometric Analysis of Macrophages and Dendritic Cell Subsets in the Mouse Lung

Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2013 Oct;49(4):503-10. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2013-0086MA.

Abstract

The lung hosts multiple populations of macrophages and dendritic cells, which play a crucial role in lung pathology. The accurate identification and enumeration of these subsets are essential for understanding their role in lung pathology. Flow cytometry is a mainstream tool for studying the immune system. However, a systematic flow cytometric approach to identify subsets of macrophages and dendritic cells (DCs) accurately and consistently in the normal mouse lung has not been described. Here we developed a panel of surface markers and an analysis strategy that accurately identify all known populations of macrophages and DCs, and their precursors in the lung during steady-state conditions and bleomycin-induced injury. Using this panel, we assessed the polarization of lung macrophages during the course of bleomycin-induced lung injury. Alveolar macrophages expressed markers of alternatively activated macrophages during both acute and fibrotic phases of bleomycin-induced lung injury, whereas markers of classically activated macrophages were expressed only during the acute phase. Taken together, these data suggest that this flow cytometric panel is very helpful in identifying macrophage and DC populations and their state of activation in normal, injured, and fibrotic lungs.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Bleomycin
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology*
  • Dendritic Cells / drug effects
  • Dendritic Cells / metabolism
  • Dendritic Cells / pathology*
  • Flow Cytometry / methods*
  • Lung / cytology*
  • Lung / drug effects
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Lung / pathology*
  • Lung Injury / chemically induced
  • Lung Injury / metabolism
  • Lung Injury / pathology
  • Macrophages, Alveolar / cytology*
  • Macrophages, Alveolar / drug effects
  • Macrophages, Alveolar / metabolism
  • Macrophages, Alveolar / pathology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Myeloid Cells / cytology
  • Myeloid Cells / drug effects
  • Myeloid Cells / metabolism
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / chemically induced
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / metabolism
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / pathology

Substances

  • Biomarkers
  • Bleomycin