Multinucleated giant cell phenotype in response to stimulation

Kevin L. Trout, Andrij Holian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Macrophages fuse into multinucleated giant cells (MGC) in many pathological conditions. Despite MGC correlations with granulomas, their functional contribution to inflammation is relatively unknown. An in vitro mouse model of IL-4-induced bone marrow-derived macrophage fusion and microfiltration were used to generate enriched MGC and macrophage populations. Phenotypes were compared in response to well-known inflammatory stimuli, including lipopolysaccharide and crocidolite asbestos. Surface markers were assessed by flow cytometry: CD11b, CD11c, F4/80, and MHC II. Secreted cytokines were assessed by multiplex immunoassay: IFN-γ, IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, IL-10, IL-13, and IL-33. Results show that MGC maintained macrophage surface protein expression but lost the ability to produce a cytokine response. This suggests a potentially beneficial role of MGC in isolating the host from a foreign body without contributing to excessive inflammation. This study and future research using other stimulants and environments are important to gaining a fundamental MGC cell biology understanding. This will inform approaches to controlling the foreign body response to particle exposure, medical implants, and many diseases associated with granulomas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number151952
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2020


  • Cytokine
  • In vitro
  • Macrophage
  • Mouse
  • Multinucleated giant cell
  • Phenotype
  • Surface marker


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