Macrophage Phenotype Identification Service

Macrophages, which accumulate in tissues during inflammation, may be polarized toward pro-inflammatory (M1), important effector cells, or tissue reparative (M2) phenotypes, capable of suppressing the function of M1 macrophages and influencing immunoregulation and tissue repair. Identification of M1 and M2 macrophages would be beneficial for research, diagnosis, and monitoring of the effects of trial therapeutics in such diseases. Experienced in macrophage development and with a dedicated commitment to the scientific community, Creative Biolabs has perfected our technical pipelines in the identification of M1 and M2 macrophages. We are happy to share our knowledge and passion in this field to facilitate our clients' research and project development.

Role of Macrophages in Inflammatory Diseases

Macrophages are hematopoietic cells that take up residence in virtually every tissue of the body and form a critical component of the innate immune response against potential pathogens. Due to their phagocytic capabilities, inflammatory cytokine secretion, and expression of a wide variety of activating surface receptors specific for pathogens or antigenic complexes, these cells are well equipped in their role as the first line of defense. Macrophages are key innate immune cells responsible for clearing infections, debris, and apoptotic cells, the promotion of wound healing, and are necessary for normal development. Therefore, they play critical roles in almost every tissue and disease state through their ability to assume distinct functional capacities in different microenvironments. They also express low levels of major histocompatibility class (MHC) class II and costimulatory molecules, thereby enabling them to act as antigen-presenting cells (APCs), albeit less efficiently than dendritic cells. Macrophages respond to a variety of external stimuli to assume different polarized activation states. M1 and M2 macrophages exhibit distinct phenotypes and functions, and the balance between them plays a key role in determining the outcome of inflammatory diseases.

Fig.1 Macrophages' role in ALI/ARDS. (Lee, et al., 2021)Fig.1 The role of macrophages in ALI/ARDS.1

Macrophage Polarization Phenotype Identification Service at Creative Biolabs

Creative Biolabs has established a cutting-edge Platform for macrophage development. Our scientists have accumulated extensive experience in applying real-time PCR, liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), western blot (WB), immunohistochemistry (IHC), and flow cytometry (FC) to identify classically activated M1 macrophages and alternatively activated M2 macrophages. A full range of macrophage markers, including multiple cell surface markers, transcription factors, and cytokine profiles, are available for the identification of M1 and M2 macrophages.

For the identification of human M1 macrophages, IFN-γ, IL-1, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12, IL-23, TNF-α, CD16, CD32, CD64, CD68, CD80, CD86, CD369, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1), interferon regulatory factor 5 (IRF5), Mer tyrosine kinase (MerTK), class II major histocompatibility complex molecules (MHC class II), and CXCL9 are reliable markers, while for mouse M1 macrophages, IFN-γ, IL-1, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12, IL-23, TNF-α, CD14, CD16, CD32, CD64, CD68, CD80, CD86, CD204, CD369, IRF5, MerTK, MHC II, and Ly-6C are often used.

Fig.2 Activated M1 macrophage markers. (Creative Biolabs Original)

For the identification of human M2 macrophages, 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 reliable markers, while for mouse M2 macrophages, 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 usually used.

Fig.3 Activated M2 macrophage markers. (Creative Biolabs Original)

As a long-term expert in the field of macrophage development, Creative Biolabs has rich expertise, which has been accumulated through our over a decade of experience. Integrate with other advanced platforms and technology, we offer the most comprehensive analysis of M1 and M2 macrophages. If you are interested in our macrophage identification service, please feel free to contact us and further discuss it with our scientists.


  1. Lee, Jae-Won, et al. "The role of macrophages in the development of acute and chronic inflammatory lung diseases." Cells 10.4 (2021): 897.
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