Novel method to assess resident alveolar macrophage efferocytosis of apoptotic neutrophils by flow cytometry

Jared Radbel, Jaclynn A. Meshanni, Carol R. Gardner, Oanh Le-Hoang, Jessica Cervelli, Jeffrey D. Laskin, Andrew J. Gow, Debra L. Laskin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Macrophage efferocytosis of apoptotic neutrophils (PMNs) plays a key role in the resolution of inflammation. In these studies, we describe a novel flow cytometric method to assess efferocytosis of apoptotic PMNs. Resident alveolar macrophages and PMNs were collected from lungs of mice exposed to inhaled ozone (0.8 ppm, 3 h) followed by lipopolysaccharide (3 mg/kg, i.v.) to induce acute lung injury. PMNs were labeled with PKH26 or DilC18(5)-DS (D12730) cell membrane dye and then incubated with resident alveolar macrophages at a ratio of 5:1. After 90 min, macrophage efferocytosis was analyzed by flow cytometry and confirmed by confocal microscopy. Whereas alveolar macrophages incubated with D12730-labeled PMNs could readily be identified as efferocytotic or non-efferocytotic, this was not possible with PKH26 labeled PMNs due to confounding macrophage autofluorescence. Using D12730 labeled PMNs, subsets of resident alveolar macrophages were identified with varying capacities to perform efferocytosis, which may be linked to the activation state of these cells. Future applications of this method will be useful in assessing the role of efferocytosis in the resolution of inflammation in response to toxicant exposure.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number116359
JournalToxicology and Applied Pharmacology
StatePublished - Feb 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology


  • Acute lung injury
  • Alveolar macrophages
  • Efferocytosis
  • Flow cytometry
  • Neutrophils
  • Ozone


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