Promising landscape for regulating macrophage polarization: epigenetic viewpoint

Dexi Zhou, Kui Yang, Lu Chen, Wen Zhang, Zhenyu Xu, Jian Zuo, Hui Jiang and Jiajie Luan _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:57693-57706. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.17027

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Dexi Zhou1,2,*, Kui Yang1,2,*, Lu Chen1,2, Wen Zhang1,2, Zhenyu Xu1,2, Jian Zuo1,2, Hui Jiang1,2 and Jiajie Luan1,2

1Laboratory of Clinical Pharmacy of Wannan Medical College, Wuhu, Anhui Province, China

2Department of Pharmacy in Yijishan Hospital of Wannan Medical College, Wuhu, Anhui Province, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Jiajie Luan, email: [email protected]

Dexi Zhou, email: [email protected]

Keywords: macrophage polarization, microRNA, methlylation, histone modification

Received: January 25, 2017    Accepted: March 27, 2017    Published: April 11, 2017


Macrophages are critical myeloid cells with the hallmark of phenotypic heterogeneity and functional plasticity. Macrophages phenotypes are commonly described as classically-activated M1 and alternatively-activated M2 macrophages which play an essential role in the tissues homeostasis and diseases pathogenesis. Alternations of macrophage polarization and function states require precise regulation of target-gene expression. Emerging data demonstrate that epigenetic mechanisms and transcriptional factors are becoming increasingly appreciated in the orchestration of macrophage polarization in response to local environmental signals. This review is to focus on the advanced concepts of epigenetics changes involved with the macrophage polarization, including microRNAs, DNA methylation and histone modification, which are responsible for the altered cellular signaling and signature genes expression during M1 or M2 polarization. Eventually, the persistent investigation and understanding of epigenetic mechanisms in tissue macrophage polarization and function will enhance the potential to develop novel therapeutic targets for various diseases.

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