Macrophage heterogeneity in the immunopathogenesis of tuberculosis

Mohlopheni J. Marakalala, Fernando O. Martinez, Annette Plüddemann, Siamon Gordon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Macrophages play a central role in tuberculosis, as the site of primary infection, inducers and effectors of inflammation, innate and adaptive immunity, as well as mediators of tissue destruction and repair. Early descriptions by pathologists have emphasized their morphological heterogeneity in granulomas, followed by delineation of T lymphocyte-dependent activation of anti-mycobacterial resistance. More recently, powerful genetic and molecular tools have become available to describe macrophage cellular properties and their role in host-pathogen interactions. In this review we discuss aspects of macrophage heterogeneity relevant to the pathogenesis of tuberculosis and, conversely, lessons that can be learnt from mycobacterial infection, with regard to the immunobiological functions of macrophages in homeostasis and disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1028
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Issue numberMAY
StatePublished - 23 05 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Marakalala, Martinez, Plüddemann and Gordon.


  • Immunopathogenesis
  • Macrophage
  • Macrophage heterogeneity4
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Pulmonary
  • Tuberculosis


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