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Lung Macrophages: Multifunctional Regulator Cells for Metastatic Cells

Division of Molecular Bioregulation, Cancer Research Institute, Kanazawa University Kakuma-machi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa 920-1192, Japan
Second Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Fukui, Yoshida-gun, Fukui 910-1193, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(1), 116;
Received: 12 November 2018 / Revised: 21 December 2018 / Accepted: 24 December 2018 / Published: 29 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tumor Microenvironment 2019)
PDF [1450 KB, uploaded 29 December 2018]


Metastasis is responsible for most of the cancer-associated deaths and proceeds through multiple steps. Several lines of evidence have established an indispensable involvement of macrophages present at the primary tumor sites in various steps of metastasis, from primary tumor growth to its intravasation into circulation. The lungs encompass a large, dense vascular area and, therefore, are vulnerable to metastasis, particularly, hematogenous ones arising from various types of neoplasms. Lung tissues constitutively contain several types of tissue-resident macrophages and circulating monocytes to counteract potentially harmful exogenous materials, which directly reach through the airway. Recent advances have provided an insight into the ontogenetic, phenotypic, and functional heterogeneity of these lung macrophage and monocyte populations, under resting and inflammatory conditions. In this review, we discuss the ontogeny, trafficking dynamics, and functions of these pulmonary macrophages and monocytes and their potential roles in lung metastasis and measures to combat lung metastasis by targeting these populations. View Full-Text
Keywords: alveolar macrophage; classical monocyte; interstitial macrophage; metastasis-associated macrophage; patrolling monocyte; perivascular macrophage alveolar macrophage; classical monocyte; interstitial macrophage; metastasis-associated macrophage; patrolling monocyte; perivascular macrophage

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Mukaida, N.; Nosaka, T.; Nakamoto, Y.; Baba, T. Lung Macrophages: Multifunctional Regulator Cells for Metastatic Cells. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 116.

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