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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2016, Article ID 5628486, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/5628486
Review Article

Functional Role of Milk Fat Globule-Epidermal Growth Factor VIII in Macrophage-Mediated Inflammatory Responses and Inflammatory/Autoimmune Diseases

Department of Pharmaceutical Engineering, Cheongju University, Cheongju 28503, Republic of Korea

Received 10 April 2016; Accepted 25 May 2016

Academic Editor: Denis Girard

Copyright © 2016 Young-Su Yi. 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.

Abstract

Inflammation involves a series of complex biological processes mediated by innate immunity for host defense against pathogen infection. Chronic inflammation is considered to be one of the major causes of serious diseases, including a number of autoimmune/inflammatory diseases, cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and neurological diseases. Milk fat globule-epidermal growth factor 8 (MFG-E8) is a secreted protein found in vertebrates and was initially discovered as a critical component of the milk fat globule. Previously, a number of studies have reported that MFG-E8 contributes to various biological functions including the phagocytic removal of damaged and apoptotic cells from tissues, the induction of VEGF-mediated neovascularization, the maintenance of intestinal epithelial homeostasis, and the promotion of mucosal healing. Recently, emerging studies have reported that MFG-E8 plays a role in inflammatory responses and inflammatory/autoimmune diseases. This review describes the characteristics of MFG-E8-mediated signaling pathways, summarizes recent findings supporting the roles of MFG-E8 in inflammatory responses and inflammatory/autoimmune diseases, and discusses MFG-E8 targeting as a potential therapeutic strategy for the development of anti-inflammatory/autoimmune disease drugs.