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Macrophage Markers

Macrophages are generally studied using immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry. Various macrophage markers are commonly chosen, such as CD68, F4/80, CD11b, etc., but the markers selected for your experiment should be based on the macrophage subset and the local environment conditions. There are a limited number of unique macrophage markers, so we recommend using several markers to detect and determine the cell type in your samples. Example of factors to consider when choosing macrophage markers are cell surface markers, secreted cytokines, transcription factor profiles, induced enzymes, etc.

Common Macrophage Markers

M1 & M2 Macrophage Markers

M1 Markers
M2a Markers
M2b Markers
M2c Markers
M2d Markers

Macrophage Development

After van Furth and Cohn’s research in the 1960s, it has long been believed that tissue-resident macrophages primarily arise from blood-circulating monocytes that originate from the bone marrow. This model became a foundational concept for the “mononuclear phagocyte system”, which was proposed by van Furth in 1972 as a classification system for macrophages, monocytes, and their progenitor cells.

However, relatively recent studies utilizing genetic fate-mapping techniques have demonstrated that macrophage development is not limited to circulating blood monocytes arising from the bone marrow. Rather, many tissue-resident macrophages develop from embryonic precursors already residing in the tissues before birth. These tissue-resident macrophages have the ability to maintain and replenish themselves through self-renewal, independent of BM-derived precursors.

What is a Macrophage?

A macrophage is a large white blood cell that detects and eliminates dead cells and foreign antigens of parasitic, viral, or bacterial pathogens via phagocytosis.

Although macrophages are part of the innate immune system, they are also capable of triggering the adaptive immune system by stimulating other immune cells like lymphocytes. Macrophages are present throughout the body in all tissues where they help maintain tissue homeostasis and induce both inflammatory and anti-inflammatory responses.

Boster Antibodies & ELISA Kits in Macrophage Research

Anti-CD68 Antibody

Anti-CD68 Antibody

Researchers investigated iron levels in tumor and metastasis-associated macrophages of breast cancer metastatic mouse models by mapping and measuring hemosiderin-laden macrophage (HLM) deposits through MRI and iron and macrophage histological evaluation. Boster’s anti-CD68 antibody (Catalog no. PA1518) was used as a macrophage marker in the study’s IHC and IF analyses.

Leftin, A., Ben-Chetrit, N., Klemm, F., Joyce, J. A., & Koutcher, J. A. (2017). Iron imaging reveals tumor and metastasis macrophage hemosiderin deposits in breast cancer. Plos One. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0184765

Antibodies of CCR2/4 & ELISA kits of CCL2/5/7, TNF-α, IL-1β, -6, and PGE2

Antibodies of CCR2/4 & ELISA kits of CCL2/5/7, TNF-α, IL-1β, -6, and PGE2

Scientists studied the role of Wnt54/SFRP5 axis in macrophage chemotaxis and activation. The researchers used Boster’s CCR2/4 antibodies for western blot to determine if there was CCL2 receptor expression upon Wnt5a transfection. In addition, Boster’s ELISA kits for CCL2/5/7, TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, PGE2 were used to quantify concentration in cell culture supernatants.

Zhao, C., Bu, X., Wang, W., Ma, T., & Ma, H. (2014). GEC-derived SFRP5 Inhibits Wnt5a-Induced Macrophage Chemotaxis and Activation. PLoS ONE. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0085058

ELISA kits for IL-1β, IL-6, IL-12, IL-10

ELISA kits for IL-1β, IL-6, IL-12, IL-10

This research studied how β-sitosterol could impact immune regulation of macrophages and serve as a potential therapeutic for rheumatoid arthritis. To measure cytokine production in mouse serum, Boster’s mouse IL-1β, IL-6, IL-12, and IL-10 ELISA kits were used for the study.

Liu, R., Hao, D., Xu, W., Li, J., Li, X., Shen, D., … Zhang, Y. (2019). β-Sitosterol modulates macrophage polarization and attenuates rheumatoid inflammation in mice. Pharmaceutical Biology, 57(1), 161–168. doi: 10.1080/13880209.2019.1577461

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IHC, WB, ELISA & Flow Cytometry Troubleshooting Guides

You are at the right place and at the right time for our latest series of troubleshooting handbooks. They are available at your finger tips with just a few clicks. Learn more about the benefits of reading this series and take advantage of our technical...

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IHC Protocol & Resource Center

Every immunoassay protocol begins with sample preparation. Western blot, IHC, and ELISA all require different ways of preparing a sample, and nearly every sample type requires specialized treatment in order to produce high-quality, consistent results.

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Flow Cytometry Protocol & Resource Center

Flow cytometry has a multitude of applications in science, but the basic principle of operation is fairly simple: Cells (or other particles) pass in single file in front of a laser which allows them to be detected, counted, and sorted. These particles are fluorescently...

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Western Blotting Protocol & Resource Center

Western blotting, ELISAs, and IHC are all immunoassays, and so all share in common the same basic principle of operation: primary antibodies bind to the target protein of interest, then labelled secondary antibodies bind the primary antibody...

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ELISA Protocol & Resource Center

Western blotting, ELISAs, and IHC are all immunoassays, and so all share in common the same basic principle of operation: primary antibodies bind to the target protein of interest, then labelled secondary antibodies bind the primary antibody...

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Protocol Overview

Immunohistochemistry (IHC-P)

  • Tissue Preparation
  • Deparaffinization
  • Inactivation
  • Antigen Retrieval
  • Blocking
  • Primary Antibody Incubation
  • Secondary Antibody Incubation
  • Staining
View IHC-P / IHC-F Protocols

Flow Cytometry

  • Direct immunostaining of surface antigens
  • Indirect immunostaining of surface antigens
  • General immuno-staining procedure for intracellular antigens
  • Intracellular cytokine/phospho-immunostaining
  • In Vitro Cell Stimulation Reference Table
  • Dye efflux staining
  • DNA content or Cell cycle analysis
View FC Protocol

Western Blot

  • Protein Extraction
  • Protein Quantitation Assay
  • Gel Electrophoresis
  • Protein Transfer
  • Blocking
  • Primary Antibody Incubation
  • Secondary Antibody Incubation
  • Chromogenic or Chemiluminescent Detection
View WB Protocol

ELISA

  • Capture Antibody Coating
  • Blocking
  • Reagent Preparation
  • Sample (Antigen) Incubation
  • Biotinylated Antibody Incubation
  • ABC Incubation
  • Substrate Preparation
  • Signal Detection
  • Data Analysis
View ELISA Protocol