Macrophage: SHIP of immunity

Charles D Mills, Anita C Thomas, Laurel L Lenz, Markus Munder

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


Immunology. Why does it exist? Two words. Cure disease. People get diseases. “Test tubes” do not. People fund immunologists for solutions to their health problems. But, immunologists often study leukocytes in test tubes – the laboratory – away from diseases. Why? Because much can be learned from analyzing cellular biochemistry and behaviors in vitro that cannot be ascertained when leukocytes are in animals. At the same time, isolated leukocyte reactions often do not reflect how the immune system operates as a unit. So, it is critical to verify in vitro observations in vivo. Among leukocytes, macrophages are the central initiating and directing element in immune systems, and serve this role through four basic “SHIP” functions in vivo: Sample; Heal; Inhibit; and Present (antigen)
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationM1/M2 Macrophages: The Arginine Fork in the Road to Health and Disease
EditorsCharles Mills, Laurel Lenz, Klaus Ley
Place of PublicationUSA
PublisherFrontiers Media S.A.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)978-2-88919-499-5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015


  • macrophage
  • innate immunity
  • M1
  • M2
  • wound
  • cancer
  • infection
  • atherosclerosis


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