Macrophage is an important innate immune cell that not only initiates inflammatory responses, but also functions in tissue repair and anti-inflammatory responses. Regulating macrophage activity is thus critical to maintain immune homeostasis. Tyro3, Axl, and Mer are integral membrane proteins that constitute TAM family of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs). Growing evidence indicates that TAM family receptors play an important role in anti-inflammatory responses through modulating the function of macrophages. First, macrophages can recognize apoptotic bodies through interaction between TAM family receptors expressed on macrophages and their ligands attached to apoptotic bodies. Without TAM signaling, macrophages cannot clear up apoptotic cells, leading to broad inflammation due to over-activation of immune cells. Second, TAM signaling can prevent chronic activation of macrophages by attenuating inflammatory pathways through particular pattern recognition receptors and cytokine receptors. Third, TAM signaling can induce autophagy which is an important mechanism to inhibit NLRP3 inflammasome activation in macrophages. Fourth, TAM signaling can inhibit polarization of M1 macrophages. In this review, we will focus on mechanisms involved in how TAM family of RTKs can modulate function of macrophage associated with anti-inflammatory responses described above. We will also discuss several human diseases related to TAM signaling and potential therapeutic strategies of targeting TAM signaling.
- anti-inflammatory response
- cell signaling
- innate immunity
- TAM family of receptor tyrosine kinase
ASJC Scopus subject areas