Reaching the Macrophage: Routes of Delivery

  • G. Kraal
  • N. van Rooijen
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 158)


The functional heterogeneity of macrophages based on anatomical localization and receptor expression as well as their versatile way through which they react to different stimuli makes them key players in many processes of the body. To stimulate or downregulate their functions in therapeutic ways using their extremely efficient phagocytosis capacity, one has to consider that they are often located at sites that are hard to reach. Local administration of drugs is therefore often the method of choice whereby liposomes seem to be an ideal vehicle through their versatility and relative ease of handling, as well as their efficient uptake by macrophages. Especially the use of the macrophage suicide technique has enabled the study of many functions of the macrophage. An overview is given of the many routes that can be used to reach the macrophage at different sites and the effects this has on the function of the cell.


Liposomes Phagocytosis Clodronate 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Kraal
    • 1
  • N. van Rooijen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Molecular Cell BiologyVrije Universiteit Medical CenterAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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