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Developmental Immunology
Volume 9 (2002), Issue 3, Pages 151-159

FIZZ1 and Ym as Tools to Discriminate between Differentially Activated Macrophages

Department of Molecular and Cellular Interactions, Vlaams Interuniversitair Instituut voor Biotechnologie, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, Brussels B-1050, Belgium

Copyright © 2002 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Although it is well-established that macrophages can occur in distinct activation states, the molecular characteristics of differentially activated macrophages, and particularly those of alternatively activated macrophages (aaMφ), are still poorly unraveled. Recently, we demonstrated that the expression of FIZZ1 and Ym is induced in aaMφ as compared with classically activated macrophages (caMφ), elicited in vitro or developed in vivo during infection with Trypanosoma brucei brucei. In the present study, we analyzed the expression of FIZZ1 and Ym in caMφ and aaMφ elicited during Trypanosoma congolense infection and show that the use of FIZZ1 and Ym for the identification of aaMφ is not limited to T. b. brucei infection and is independent of the organ sources from which macrophages are obtained. We also demonstrate that FIZZ1 can be used to discriminate between different populations of aaMφ. Furthermore, we studied the effects of various stimuli, and combinations thereof, on the expression of FIZZ1 and Ym in macrophages from different mouse strains and demonstrate that regulation of the expression of FIZZ1 and Ym in macrophages is not dependent on the mouse strain. Finally, we show that these genes can be used to monitor the macrophage activation status without the need to obtain pure macrophage populations.