Alternatively Activated M2 Macrophage Identification Service

A common feature of inflammatory diseases is the accumulation of macrophages, derived from circulating monocytes, in the inflamed tissue. Rather than being a uniform cellular population, macrophages may be polarized toward pro-inflammatory (M1) or tissue reparative (M2) phenotypes. M2 macrophages polarized by anti-inflammatory cytokines are generally considered to have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative and tissue reparative properties. As a leading specialist in macrophage therapeutics development, Creative Biolabs excels at the identification of M2 macrophages. We are confident that our technology will meet clients' special needs.

Introduction of M2 Macrophages Subsets

M2 macrophages can be polarized by several stimulatory factors, which include cytokines including interleukin (IL)-4, IL-10, and IL-13, glucocorticoids, immune complexes (IC) and lipopolysaccharides (LPS). IL-4, IL-10, and IL-13 lead to M2 polarization in the same way as IL-33, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β or macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF), the master growth factor of myeloid lineage. M2 macrophages are more heterogeneous than M1 macrophages and have been further subdivided in M2a, M2b, M2c, and M2d based upon the applied stimuli and the resultant transcriptional changes. Different subtypes of M2 macrophages can be induced by different stimulatory factors. M2a, M2b, and M2c macrophages are activated by IL-14 and IL-13, immunes complexes associated with TLRs or glucocorticoids, IL-10 and TGF-β, respectively. M2d macrophages, representing a novel M2 subset that is also known as tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs), are induced by costimulation with TLR ligands and A2 adenosine receptor (A2R) agonists or by IL-6.

M2 Macrophage Identification Service at Creative Biolabs

With industry-leading expertise and state-of-the-art equipment, Creative Biolabs has accumulated extensive experience in the identification of M2 macrophages by quantification of M2 macrophage markers, including multiple cell surface markers, transcription factors, and cytokine profiles.

Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), IL-10, TGF-β, CD115, CD204, CD163, CD206, CD209, Fc epsilon Receptor I (FceR1), V-set and immunoglobulin domain-containing protein-4 (VSIG4), interferon regulatory factor 4 (IRF4), and signal transducer and activator of transcription 6 (STAT6) are usually used for the identification of human M2 macrophages, while arginase 1 (Arg1), IDO, IL-10, TGF-β, CD14, CD115, CD163, CD204, CD206, CD209, colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF1R), FceR1, YM1, IRF4, resistin-like molecule-alpha (RELM-α) and STAT6 are reliable markers for mouse M2 macrophages.

Fig.1 Activated M2 macrophage markers. (Creative Biolabs Original)

Our comprehensive services for human and mouse M2 macrophage identification include but are not limited to real time-PCR, liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), western blot (WB), immunohistochemistry (IHC) and flow cytometry (FC). Moreover, our scientists have developed machine learning algorithms to automatedly identify M2 macrophage functional phenotypes using their cell size and morphology. After that, fluorescent microscopy will be conducted to assess the cell morphology of M2 macrophages.

In terms of the extensive experience in the identification of M2 macrophages, Creative Biolabs is proud to offer our clients the best service to facilitate our clients' research and project development. We offer high-quality customized services to meet even the most specific requirement. For more information, please feel free to contact us and further discuss with our scientists.


  1. Kigerl, K.A.; et al. Identification of two distinct macrophage subsets with divergent effects causing either neurotoxicity or regeneration in the injured mouse spinal cord. Journal of Neuroscience. 2009, 29(43):13435-44.
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