Macrophage clearance of apoptotic cells: A critical assessment

Siamon Gordon*, Annette Plüddemann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


As the body continues to grow and age, it becomes essential to maintain a balance between living and dying cells. Macrophages and dendritic cells play a central role in discriminating among viable, apoptotic, and necrotic cells, as selective and efficient phagocytes, without inducing inappropriate inflammation or immune responses. A great deal has been learnt concerning clearance receptors for modified and non-self-ligands on potential targets, mediating their eventual uptake, disposal, and replacement. In this essay, we assess current understanding of the phagocytic recognition of apoptotic cells within their tissue environment; we conclude that efferocytosis constitutes a more complex process than simply removal of corpses, with regulatory interactions between the target and effector cells, which determine the outcome of this homeostatic process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number127
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Issue numberJAN
StatePublished - 30 01 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Gordon and Plüddemann.


  • Apoptosis
  • Apoptotic cells
  • Clearance of apoptotic cells
  • Macrophages
  • Phagocytosis


Dive into the research topics of 'Macrophage clearance of apoptotic cells: A critical assessment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this