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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2018 (2018), Article ID 6827237, 8 pages
Review Article

Roles of Macrophage Subtypes in Bowel Anastomotic Healing and Anastomotic Leakage

Gastrointestinal Cancer Center, Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Translational Research (Ministry of Education), Peking University Cancer Hospital & Institute, No. 52 Fu-Cheng Road, Hai-Dian District, Beijing 100142, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Ziyu Li

Received 28 July 2017; Revised 21 December 2017; Accepted 2 January 2018; Published 18 February 2018

Academic Editor: Zissis Chroneos

Copyright © 2018 Jinyao Shi et al. 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.


Macrophages play an important role in host defense, in addition to the powerful ability to phagocytose pathogens or foreign matters. They fulfill a variety of roles in immune regulation, wound healing, and tissue homeostasis preservation. Macrophages are characterized by high heterogeneity, which can polarize into at least two major extremes, M1-type macrophages (classical activation) which are normally derived from monocytes and M2-type macrophages (alternative activation) which are mostly those tissue-resident macrophages. Based on the wound healing process in skin, the previous studies have documented how these different subtypes of macrophages participate in tissue repair and remodeling, while the mechanism of macrophages in bowel anastomotic healing has not yet been established. This review summarizes the currently available evidence regarding the different roles of polarized macrophages in the physiological course of anastomotic healing and their pathological roles in anastomotic leakage, the most dangerous complication after gastrointestinal surgery.