Author's Department

Biotechnology Program

All Authors

Mayada Mazher, Yomna Adel Moqidem, Mona Zidan, Ahmed A Sayed, Ahmed Abdellatif

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Date



Macro-autophagy is a highly conserved catabolic process among eukaryotes affecting macrophages. This work studies the genetic regulatory network involving the interplay between autophagy and macrophage polarization (activation). Autophagy-related genes (Atgs) and differentially expressed genes (DEGs) of macrophage polarization (M1-M2) were predicted, and their regulatory networks constructed. Naïve (M0) mouse bone marrow-derived monocytes were differentiated into M1 and M2a. Validation of the targets of Smad1, LC3A and LC3B, Atg16L1, Atg7, IL-6, CD68, Arg-1, and Vamp7 was performed in vitro. Immunophenotyping by flow cytometry revealed three macrophage phenotypes: M0 (IL-6 + /CD68 +), M1 (IL-6 + /CD68 + /Arg-1 +), and M2a (CD68 + /Arg-1). Confocal microscopy revealed increased autophagy in both M1 and M2a and a significant increase in the pre-autophagosomes size and number. Bafilomycin A increased the expression of CD68 and Arg-1 in all cell lineages. In conclusion, our approach predicted the protein targets mediating the interplay between autophagy and macrophage polarization. We suggest that autophagy reprograms macrophage polarization via CD68, arginase 1, Atg16L1-1, and Atg16L1-3. The current findings provide a foundation for the future use of macrophages in immunotherapy of different autoimmune disorders.

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