In Vitro Stimulation and Visualization of Extracellular Trap Release in Differentiated Human Monocyte-derived Macrophages

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The release of extracellular traps (ETs) by neutrophils has been identified as a contributing factor to the development of diseases related to chronic inflammation. Neutrophil ETs (NETs) consist of a mesh of DNA, histone proteins, and various granule proteins (i.e., myeloperoxidase, elastase, and cathepsin G). Other immune cells, including macrophages, can also produce ETs; however, to what extent this occurs in vivo and whether macrophage extracellular traps (METs) play a role in pathological mechanisms has not been examined in detail. To better understand the role of METs in inflammatory pathologies, a protocol was developed for visualizing MET release from primary human macrophages in vitro, which can also be exploited in immunofluorescence experiments. This allows further characterization of these structures and their comparison to ETs released from neutrophils. Human monocyte-derived macrophages (HMDM) produce METs upon exposure to different inflammatory stimuli following differentiation to the M1 pro-inflammatory phenotype. The release of METs can be visualized by microscopy using a green fluorescent nucleic acid stain that is impermeant to live cells (e.g., SYTOX green). Use of freshly isolated primary macrophages, such as HMDM, is advantageous in modeling in vivo inflammatory events that are relevant to potential clinical applications. This protocol can also be used to study MET release from human monocyte cell lines (e.g., THP-1) following differentiation into macrophages with phorbol myristate acetate or other macrophage cell lines (e.g., the murine macrophage-like J774A.1 cells).
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere60541
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • Immunology and Infection, Issue 153, extracellular trap, macrophage, MET, inflammation, SYTOX green, fluorescence microscopy

ID: 232010957