It is already well known that the immune cells called macrophages are involved in the mechanisms of heart failure, and in the research noted here the details of that role are further explored. Macrophages are important in processes of regeneration and tissue growth throughout the body, but also in the propagation of inflammation in response to damaging circumstances. A growing theme in the research of past years is the polarization of macrophages, meaning their division into several subtypes based on behavior. Some are inflammatory and aggressive, attacking pathogens but also hindering regeneration, while others are not inflammatory and undertake a variety of activities to directly aid tissue regeneration. A useful response to injury requires both behaviors in some proportion, and at different times, but later life and many age-related conditions are characterized by the presence of far too many inflammatory macrophages. Removing these macrophages or adjusting their state shows promise as a basis for therapy.
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