Journal article

Tissue-resident ductal macrophages survey the mammary epithelium and facilitate tissue remodelling

Caleb A Dawson, Bhupinder Pal, Francois Vaillant, Luke C Gandolfo, Zhaoyuan Liu, Camille Bleriot, Florent Ginhoux, Gordon K Smyth, Geoffrey J Lindeman, Scott N Mueller, Anne C Rios, Jane E Visvader



Macrophages are diverse immune cells that reside in all tissues. Although macrophages have been implicated in mammary-gland function, their diversity has not been fully addressed. By exploiting high-resolution three-dimensional imaging and flow cytometry, we identified a unique population of tissue-resident ductal macrophages that form a contiguous network between the luminal and basal layers of the epithelial tree throughout postnatal development. Ductal macrophages are long lived and constantly survey the epithelium through dendrite movement, revealed via advanced intravital imaging. Although initially originating from embryonic precursors, ductal macrophages derive from circulating monocy..

View full abstract


Awarded by Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

Awarded by NHMRC

Funding Acknowledgements

We thank W. Alexander, M. Kauppi and A. Stock for their assistance with the chimaera experiments; F. Jackling for animal management; M. Chopin and S. Nutt for providing mice; Y. Hu for assistance with bioinformatics; J. Whittle, S. Naik, G. Belz, S. Heinzel, J. Schreuder and D. Lin for discussions; and C. Nowell at the MIPS imaging facility. We are grateful to the WEHI Centre for Dynamic Imaging, flow cytometry and animal facilities. This work was supported by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grant nos 1016701, 1054618, 1100807 and 1113133; NHMRC IRIISS; the Victorian State Government through VCA funding and Operational Infrastructure Support and the Australian Cancer Research Foundation. C.A.D. was supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship. A.C.R. was supported by a National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF)/Cure Cancer Australia Fellowship. S.N.M., G.K.S., G.J.L. and J.E.V. were supported by NHMRC Fellowships (grant nos 1136550, 1058892, 1078730, and 1037230 and 1102742, respectively).