Dozentin: Dr. Noelia Alonso Gonzalez, Universitätsklinikum Münster, Institut für Immunologie
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Abstract: The phagocytosis or clearance of apoptotic cells accounts not only for the physiological cell turnover in tissues, but is a crucial mechanism to fight against infections and to resolve inflammation. The different steps during phagocytosis include: sensing of the apoptotic target, recognition, engulfment and processing of the ingested material. Macrophages display metabolic pathways upon phagocytosis that maintain the homeostasis in the cell, as well as provides them with the source of energy to continue phagocytosing. We are interested in the connections between the metabolism of lipids upon apoptotic cell clearance and the modulation of the first steps of phagocytosis in the recognition and engulfment of the apoptotic cargo. We have observed that macrophages that accumulate lipids display aberrant membrane and cytoskeletal remodeling when they are exposed to apoptotic neutrophils, impeding their recognition and engulfment. In addition, we observe heterogeneous pathways by which alveolar and peritoneal resident macrophages recognize and engulf apoptotic neutrophils. Understanding the diversity of recognition pathways and metabolic responses by different macrophages subtypes is key to develop novel strategies targeting the phagocytosis of apoptotic cells in an organ-specific manner to improve the resolution of inflammation.