Generation of membrane structures during phagocytosis and chemotaxis of macrophages: role and regulation of the actin cytoskeleton

Immunol Rev. 2013 Nov;256(1):222-39. doi: 10.1111/imr.12118.


Macrophages are best known for their protective search and destroy functions against invading microorganisms. These processes are commonly known as chemotaxis and phagocytosis. Both of these processes require actin cytoskeletal remodeling to produce distinct F-actin-rich membrane structures called lamellipodia and phagocytic cups. This review will focus on the mechanisms by which macrophages regulate actin polymerization through initial receptor signaling and subsequent Arp2/3 activation by nucleation-promoting factors like the WASP/WAVE family, followed by remodeling of actin networks to produce these very distinct structures.

Keywords: Arp2/3; CSF-1; GPCR; WASP/WAVE; chemotaxis; phagocytosis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Actin Cytoskeleton / physiology
  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Chemotaxis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Macrophage-1 Antigen / immunology
  • Macrophage-1 Antigen / metabolism
  • Macrophages / physiology*
  • Phagocytosis / physiology*
  • Receptors, IgG / metabolism


  • Macrophage-1 Antigen
  • Receptors, IgG