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Functions Of ROS In Macrophages And Antimicrobial Immunity

Marc Herb, Michael Schramm

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Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are a chemically defined group of reactive molecules derived from molecular oxygen. ROS are involved in a plethora of processes in cells in all domains of life, ranging from bacteria, plants and animals, including humans. The importance of ROS for macrophage-mediated immunity is unquestioned. Their functions comprise direct antimicrobial activity against bacteria and parasites as well as redox-regulation of immune signaling and induction of inflammasome activation. However, only a few studies have performed in-depth ROS analyses and even fewer have identified the precise redox-regulated target molecules. In this review, we will give a brief introduction to ROS and their sources in macrophages, summarize the versatile roles of ROS in direct and indirect antimicrobial immune defense, and provide an overview of commonly used ROS probes, scavengers and inhibitors.