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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Macrophage functional maturation and cytokine production are impaired in C/ EBP epsilon-deficient mice.

Members of the CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/ EBP) family are involved in the regulation of cellular differentiation and function of many tissues. Unlike the other members of the family, C/ EBP epsilon expression is restricted to granulocytes, macrophages, and lymphocytes. C/ EBP epsilon is highly conserved between human and rodents and is essential for terminal granulopoiesis in both species. To study the role that C/ EBP epsilon plays in macrophages, wild-type and C/ EBP epsilon-deficient (-/-) murine macrophages obtained from thioglycollate-elicited peritoneal lavages and differentiated bone marrow cells were compared. Although macrophage development occurred in both types of mice, the C/ EBP epsilon -/- cells had a lower expression of macrophage markers and a morphologic and ultrastructural appearance of immaturity. Phagocytic function, measured by calculating the percentage of internalized opsonized fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-labeled yeast, was significantly impaired in the C/ EBP epsilon -/- macrophages compared with their wild-type counterparts. Furthermore, the differential expression of 26 macrophage-specific genes between wild-type and C/ EBP-/- mice was analyzed. A subset of genes involved in differentiation, immune, and inflammatory responses was found down-regulated in the C/EBP-/- macrophages. Taken together, this study implicates the C/ EBP epsilon gene as an important transcription factor required for normal function and development of macrophages.[1]


  1. Macrophage functional maturation and cytokine production are impaired in C/EBP epsilon-deficient mice. Tavor, S., Vuong, P.T., Park, D.J., Gombart, A.F., Cohen, A.H., Koeffler, H.P. Blood (2002) [Pubmed]
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