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During the past decade, the rapid growth of molecular and cellular kwledge of macrophages, as a specialized host defense and homeostatic system, has begun to offer attractive targets for therapeutic intervention. Macrophages play a central role in a wide range of disease processes, from genetically determined lysosomal storage diseases, to acute sepsis, chronic inflammation and repair, tissue injury and cell death. Under- or overactivity of macrophage clearance, immune effector functions and responses to metabolic abrmalities contribute to common disorders such as autoimmunity, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and major infections including AIDS and Tuberculosis. Whilst the goals of therapeutic intervention based on improved understanding of macrophage functions and their contribution to pathogenesis may seem self evident, there are considerable difficulties in producing useful new agents. The present volume covers a range of subjects and provides opportunities for a more focused macrophage-targeted approach. The individual chapters review selected topics briefly, to place cellular processes and molecular targets in perspective. Overall, the volume should provide a broad sample of the state of the art. Useful reviews and references in the literature are cited within individual chapters.
Springer-Verlag Berlin and Heidelberg GmbH & Co. KG
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Clinical Medicine: Professional
Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology
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Springer-Verlag Berlin and Heidelberg GmbH & Co. K