Adaptive Characteristics of Innate Immune Responses in Macrophages

  • Mihai G. Netea
  • Alberto Mantovani


Macrophages are a central component of antimicrobial host defense, described as crucial for both innate immune mechanisms and adaptive immunity (Gordon and Mantovani 2011). The dichotomy between the immediate antimicrobial responses seen as non-specific, and the late-onset specific T- and B-cell responses, has been driven our understanding of host defense for more than half a century. Innate immunity reacts instantly upon an encounter with a pathogen, but has been viewed as non-specific and incapable of building an immunological memory. In contrast, adaptive immune responses can specifically recognize pathogenic microorganisms and build memory capable of protection against reinfection. Macrophages are involved in both these two responses: on the one hand macrophages have the capacity to phagocytose and kill microorganisms in a non-specific fashion, to release proinflammatory mediators that drive inflammation, but on the other hand they can also present antigens and initiate and modulate the specific T-cell responses through expression of co-stimulatory molecules and specific cytokines (Taylor et al. 2005).


Innate Immunity Histone Methylation Innate Immune Cell Measle Vaccine Adaptive Characteristic 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Alberto Mantovani is supported by Project ADITEC from the European Commission.

Mihai G. Netea is supported by a Vici grant of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Internal MedicineRadboud Center for Infectious Diseases (RCI), Radboud University Medical CenterNijmegenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Humanitas Clinical and Research CenterRozzano (Milan)Italy

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