Functional Potassium Channels in Macrophages

J Membr Biol. 2023 Jan 9. doi: 10.1007/s00232-022-00276-4. Online ahead of print.


Macrophages are the predominant component of innate immunity, which is an important protective barrier of our body. Macrophages are present in all organs and tissues of the body, their main functions include immune surveillance, bacterial killing, tissue remodeling and repair, and clearance of cell debris. In addition, macrophages can present antigens to T cells and facilitate inflammatory response by releasing cytokines. Macrophages are of high concern due to their crucial roles in multiple physiological processes. In recent years, new advances are emerging after great efforts have been made to explore the mechanisms of macrophage activation. Ion channel is a class of multimeric transmembrane protein that allows specific ions to go through cell membrane. The flow of ions through ion channel between inside and outside of cell membrane is required for maintaining cell morphology and intracellular signal transduction. Expressions of various ion channels in macrophages have been detected. The roles of ion channels in macrophage activation are gradually caught attention. K+ channels are the most studied channels in immune system. However, very few of published papers reviewed the studies of K+ channels on macrophages. Here, we will review the four types of K+ channels that are expressed in macrophages: voltage-gated K+ channel, calcium-activated K+ channel, inwardly rectifying K+ channel and two-pore domain K+ channel.

Keywords: K+ channel; Macrophage; Phagocytosis; Polarization.

Publication types

  • Review