f4/80 marker

CD14, CD68 and/or mouse F4/80 or human epidermal growth factor module-containing mucin-like receptor 1 (EMR1) are widely used as macrophage-specific markers. Since macrophages infiltrate several tissues during inflammatory processes, CD14, CD68 and EMR1-F4/80 have been employed to discriminate between tissue-containing macrophages, like adipose tissue (AT), and other cells. Using real-time PCR experiments, we show that isolated adipocytes from humans and mice AT express high levels of CD14 and CD68 mRNA, whereas EMR1-F4/80 is mainly present in the macrophage-containing stroma-vascular fraction. Furthermore, fibroblasts-like cells (adipoblasts), preadipocytes and adipocytes from the murine cell lines, 3T3-F442A and BFC-1, express CD14 and CD68 mRNA and protein as determined by fluorescence-activated cell sorter, but not F4/80 which, as expected, is strongly expressed in the macrophage cell line RAW264.7. These results reinforce the view that EMR1-F4/80 is the best macrophage marker to date and show that CD14 and CD68 are not macrophage-specific proteins.

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