Lung regulatory macrophages: phenotype, function and therapeutic potential

asthma • immunology • cell therapy

Fabrice Bureau is professor at the Université de Liège and manages the Cellular and Molecular Immunology Lab at the GIGA research centre. Fabrice Bureau and his colleagues have recently demonstrated that interstitial macrophages (IM) play an important role in maintaining pulmonary immune homoeostasis. These cells impede the development of adaptive immune responses to inhaled allergens. During his previous WELBIO project, Fabrice Bureau demonstrated that IM play an important role in mediating the immunotherapeutic effects of CpG motifs in bacterial DNA. CpGs have the unique ability to induce a strong expansion of IM and to give them hyper-suppressive properties.

The aim of this second project is to further develop the characterisation of IM in mice and humans. The first two years made it possible to create transgenic murine models, in order to formally demonstrate the regulatory role of IM and IL-10. Initial analyses of human samples have highlighted several macrophage populations, including potential human regulatory macrophages. The next stage of the project will aim to generate these regulatory macrophages ex vivo, with a view to using them to treat asthma in humans and other immune diseases.

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