Antiinflammatory effects of apoptotic cells

J Clin Invest. 2013 Jul;123(7):2773-4. doi: 10.1172/JCI69344. Epub 2013 Jul 1.


Apoptotic cells are rapidly phagocytosed by macrophages, a process that represents a critical step in tissue remodeling, immune responses, and the resolution of inflammation. In 1998, Peter Henson, Donna Bratton, and colleagues at National Jewish Health demonstrated that phagocytosis of apoptotic cells actively suppresses inflammation by inhibiting the production of inflammatory cytokines and inducing production of antiinflammatory factors, including TGF-β and prostaglandin E2. Here they discuss the evolving relationship among apoptosis, phagocytosis, and inflammation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis*
  • Cell Membrane / immunology
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Dinoprostone / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism*
  • Macrophages / physiology
  • Phagocytosis
  • Phosphatidylserines / immunology
  • Phosphatidylserines / metabolism
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / physiology
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism


  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Phosphatidylserines
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • phosphatidylserine receptor
  • Dinoprostone