An Abundant Tissue Macrophage Population in the Adult Murine Heart with a Distinct Alternatively-Activated Macrophage Profile Academic Article uri icon


  • Cardiac tissue macrophages (cTMs) are a previously uncharacterised cell type that we have identified and characterise here as an abundant GFP(+) population within the adult Cx(3)cr1(GFP/+) knock-in mouse heart. They comprise the predominant myeloid cell population in the myocardium, and are found throughout myocardial interstitial spaces interacting directly with capillary endothelial cells and cardiomyocytes. Flow cytometry-based immunophenotyping shows that cTMs exhibit canonical macrophage markers. Gene expression analysis shows that cTMs (CD45(+)CD11b(+)GFP(+)) are distinct from mononuclear CD45(+)CD11b(+)GFP(+) cells sorted from the spleen and brain of adult Cx(3)cr1(GFP/+) mice. Gene expression profiling reveals that cTMs closely resemble alternatively-activated anti-inflammatory M2 macrophages, expressing a number of M2 markers, including Mrc1, CD163, and Lyve-1. While cTMs perform normal tissue macrophage homeostatic functions, they also exhibit a distinct phenotype, involving secretion of salutary factors (including IGF-1) and immune modulation. In summary, the characterisation of cTMs at the cellular and molecular level defines a potentially important role for these cells in cardiac homeostasis.


  • Pinto, Alexander R
  • Paolicelli, Rosa
  • Salimova, Ekaterina
  • Gospocic, Janko
  • Slonimsky, Esfir
  • Bilbao-Cortes, Daniel
  • Godwin, James W
  • Rosenthal, Nadia A

publication date

  • May 10, 2012

has subject area