Macrophages are important cells of the innate immune system that have diverse functions. They are key players in tissue homeostasis and are involved in major diseases such as infection, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Macrophages can be polarized to M1 or M2 type with pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory properties. Recently, many new compounds have been identified to repolarize macrophages to desired phenotypes. Creative Biolabs has established a large compound library for high-throughput phenotypic screening of compounds for macrophage reprogramming. Our scientists offer fast and reliable support for any phase of macrophage development.
A remarkable feature of macrophages is their plasticity. Macrophage plasticity underlies their ability to be activated toward a spectrum of phenotypes and acquire diverse functions, which are regulated by the surrounding micro-environment. Macrophages commonly exist in two distinct subsets: 1) Classically activated M1 macrophages, which are pro-inflammatory and polarized by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) either alone or in association with type 1 T helper (Th1) cytokines, and produce pro-inflammatory cytokines, and 2) Alternatively activated M2 macrophages, which are anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory and polarized by type 2 T helper (Th1) cytokines and produce anti-inflammatory cytokines. M1 and M2 macrophages play important roles in the progression of several inflammatory diseases and have different functions and transcriptional profiles. Currently, the reprogramming of macrophages is mainly done through the addition of exogenous macrophages or the delivery of key factors such as cytokines, chemokines and other molecules. However, the direct introduction of exogenous cells might result in immune imbalance, causing excessive healing/killing, and growth factors are limited by their short half-life. To overcome these limitations, new strategies based on new compounds are emerging.
Fig.1 Macrophage polarization from a proinflammatory M1 to an anti-inflammatory M2 phenotype is mediated by a set of specific factors. (Das, 2015)
The cell shape change is valid phenotypic profiling of macrophage activation. Cell shape changes are mediated by changes in cytoskeleton dynamics and are associated with different states of cell function. Both human and mouse macrophages exhibit dramatically different cell shapes following activation in vitro. M1-like macrophages are round while M2-like macrophages are in an elongated shape. Based on macrophage cell shape changes in response to compound treatment, Creative Biolabs provides high-throughput phenotypic screening service. Based on our cutting-edge Macrophage Therapeutics Development Platform, our scientists have established a large library of natural and synthetic compounds. Potential compounds for macrophage reprogramming could be efficiently identified by high-throughput phenotypic screening of this library. To determine whether the compounds activate macrophages at the transcriptional level, RNA-seq can be performed to analyze the upregulated/downregulated gene expression of M1 markers and M2 markers following the treatment of compounds.
Scientists at Creative Biolabs are experts at the high-throughput phenotypic screening of new compounds for macrophage reprogramming and are pleased to assist our clients based on their requirements. For more detailed information, please feel free to contact us or directly send us an inquiry.