The macrophage as an effector cell
Killer Cells, Natural
The emphasis in this review has been on the growing awareness of the complexity of the effector functions of the macrophage. However, patterns are emerging that help to simplify the present picture. It now appears that the macrophage uses some of the same biochemical processes in modifying its extracellular environment and in dealing with phagocytized particles. For example, oxidative mechanisms appear prominent not only in the inhibition of intracellular parasites but also in the damage inflicted by macrophages on extracellular tumor cells and probably other tissues at inflammatory sites. We need to learn much more about how such processes are regulated.