Macrophages have been known for more than a century as phagocytic cells of the immune system responsible for the elimination of pathogens. Recent research, however, identified that macrophages are composed of highly heterogeneous populations of cells of different origins, and that they exert a multitude of functions in homeostatic and in disease conditions, including pro- and anti-immunity.
While the importance of macrophages is now well recognized, studying their functional diversity at the molecular level remains challenging, particularly in the human species. We are using a combination of cutting-edge technologies, including single-cell transcription profiling, genome editing and MISTRG humanized mice, to define the phenotypic and functional diversity of human macrophages in vivo.
Development and function of human innate immune cells in a humanized mouse model. A. Rongvaux, Tim Willinger, J. Martinek, T. Strowig, S.V. Gearty, L.L. Teichmann, Y. Saito, F. Marches, S. Halene, A.K. Palucka, M.G. Manz, R.A. Flavell. 2014. Nature Biotechnology. 32(4):364-72.