Macrophage function in tissue repair and remodeling requires IL-4 or IL-13 with apoptotic cells

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  09 Jun 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6342, pp. 1072-1076
DOI: 10.1126/science.aai8132

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Local macrophage clean-up

Infection, especially by helminths or bacteria, can cause tissue damage (see the Perspective by Bouchery and Harris). Minutti et al. studied mouse models of helminth infection and fibrosis. They expressed surfactant protein A (a member of the complement component C1q family) in the lung, which enhanced interleukin-4 (IL-4)-mediated proliferation and activation of alveolar macrophages. This activation accelerated helminth clearance and reduced lung injury. In the peritoneum, C1q boosted macrophage activation for liver repair after bacterial infection. By a different approach, Bosurgi et al. discovered that after wounding caused by migrating helminths in the lung or during inflammation in the gut of mice, IL-4 and IL-13 act only in the presence of apoptotic cells to promote tissue repair by local macrophages.

Science, this issue p. 1076, p. 1072; see also p. 1014


Tissue repair is a subset of a broad repertoire of interleukin-4 (IL-4)– and IL-13–dependent host responses during helminth infection. Here we show that IL-4 or IL-13 alone was not sufficient, but IL-4 or IL-13 together with apoptotic cells induced the tissue repair program in macrophages. Genetic ablation of sensors of apoptotic cells impaired the proliferation of tissue-resident macrophages and the induction of anti-inflammatory and tissue repair genes in the lungs after helminth infection or in the gut after induction of colitis. By contrast, the recognition of apoptotic cells was dispensable for cytokine-dependent induction of pattern recognition receptor, cell adhesion, or chemotaxis genes in macrophages. Detection of apoptotic cells can therefore spatially compartmentalize or prevent premature or ectopic activity of pleiotropic, soluble cytokines such as IL-4 or IL-13.

View Full Text