Macrophage Polarization and Inflammation at the Interface of Cardiovascular Disease and Metabolism

Zhuxia Shen, PhD, Mingxing Lu, BS, Shengshu Duan, BS, Shengzhong Duan, MD, PhD


Classically activated macrophages (M1) and alternatively activated macrophages (M2) are induced by Th1 and Th2 cytokines respectively. These macrophages are phenotypically and functionally different. Polarized macrophages are important players in inflammation because of the pro-inflammatory properties of M1 and the anti-inflammatory properties of M2. Under metabolic stress, interactions between polarized macrophages and adipocytes, hepatocytes, and skeletal myocytes mediate the inflammatory response that ultimately contributes to metabolic diseases. The crosstalk between polarized macrophages and endothelial cells, vascular smooth muscle cells, and possibly cardiomyocytes is important in the progression of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Moreover, inflammation and macrophage polarization present as critical links between metabolism and CVDs.


inflammation, macrophage polarization, metabolism, cardiovascular diseases

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