Macrophages are key in orchestrating immune responses to micro-environmental stimuli, sensed by a complex set of surface receptors. The human cell line THP-1 has a monocytic phenotype, including the ability to differentiate into macrophages, providing a tractable, standardised surrogate for human monocyte-derived macrophages. Here we assessed the expression of 49 surface markers including Fc, complement, C-type lectin and scavenger receptors; TIMs; Siglecs; and co-stimulatory molecules by flow cytometry on both THP-1 monocytes and macrophages and following macrophage activation with seven standard conditioning/polarizing stimuli. Of the 34 surface markers detected on macrophages, 18 altered expression levels on activation. From these, expression of 9 surface markers were consistently altered by all conditioning regimens, while 9 were specific to individual polarizing stimuli. This study provides a resource for the study of macrophages and highlights that macrophage polarization states share much in common and the differences do not easily fit a simple classification system.
- Cell surface
- Flow cytometry