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Pulmonary Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 717130, 7 pages
Review Article

Macrophage-Derived Biomarkers of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

1Respiratory Diseases Section, Siena University, 53100 Siena, Italy
2Department of Pneumology, Freiburg University, Germany

Received 19 August 2010; Accepted 9 November 2010

Academic Editor: Andrew J. Halayko

Copyright © 2011 E. Bargagli 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.


Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a severe, rapidly progressive diffuse lung disease. Several pathogenetic mechanisms have been hypothesized on the basis of the fibrotic lung damage occurring in this disease, and a potential profibrotic role of activated alveolar macrophages and their mediators in the pathogenesis of IPF was recently documented. This paper focuses on recent literature on potential biomarkers of IPF derived from activated alveolar macrophages. Biomarker discovery and clinical application are a recent topic of interest in the field of interstitial lung diseases (ILDs). Cytokines, CC-chemokines, and other macrophage-produced mediators are the most promising prognostic biomarkers. Many molecules have been proposed in the literature as potential biomarker of IPF; however, a rigorous validation is needed to confirm their clinical utility.