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Review
. 2014 Dec 15;564:83-8.
doi: 10.1016/j.abb.2014.09.005. Epub 2014 Sep 18.

Heme oxygenase-1 and Anti-Inflammatory M2 Macrophages

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Review

Heme oxygenase-1 and Anti-Inflammatory M2 Macrophages

Yuji Naito et al. Arch Biochem Biophys. .

Abstract

Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) catalyzes the first and rate-limiting enzymatic step of heme degradation and produces carbon monoxide, free iron, and biliverdin. HO-1, a stress-inducible protein, is induced by various oxidative and inflammatory signals. Consequently, HO-1 expression has been regarded as an adaptive cellular response against inflammatory response and oxidative injury. Although several transcriptional factors and signaling cascades are involved in HO-1 regulation, the two main pathways of Nrf2/Bach1 system and IL-10/HO-1 axis exist in monocyte/macrophage. Macrophages are broadly divisible into two groups: pro-inflammatory M1 macrophages and anti-inflammatory M2 macrophages. More recently, several novel macrophage subsets have been identified including Mhem, Mox, and M4 macrophages. Of these, M2 macrophages, Mhem, and Mox are HO-1 highly expressing macrophages. HO-1 has been recognized as having major immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties, which have been demonstrated in HO-1 deficient mice and human cases of genetic HO-1 deficiency. However, the mechanism underlying the immunomodulatory actions of HO-1 remains poorly defined. This review specifically addresses macrophage polarization. The present current evidence indicates that HO-1 induction mediated by multiple pathways can drive the phenotypic shift to M2 macrophages and suggests that HO-1 induction in macrophages is a potential therapeutic approach to immunomodulation in widely diverse human diseases.

Keywords: Heme oxygenase; Inflammation; Macrophage; Polarization.

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