Date of Award

Spring 2016

Thesis Type

Rollins Access Only

Degree Name

Honors Bachelor of Arts




Dr. Susan Walsh


Macrophages are an important part of an organism’s immune system; the cells help regulate the inflammatory response through binding and releasing various signaling molecules. The cytokine IL-4 plays a vital role in manipulating the phenotypic activation of macrophages, which can show inflammatory (M1) or anti-inflammatory (M2) characteristics. When macrophages are treated with IL-4, the phenotypes shift towards the anti-inflammatory M2. M1 macrophages can switch to the M2 phenotype and conversely with treatment of various stimuli. In this study, the ability of IL-4 to activate nuclear receptor pathways, thereby stimulating a M2 phenotype, was tested. Using QRT PCR, four known target genes (Abca1, Angptl4, Tgm2, Vegfα) showed mean levels of mRNA transcripts that were significantly different depending on different IL-4 treatments. When treated with IL-4, expression of Angptl4 and Tgm2 increased, indicating a shift towards M2. However, when treated with IL-4, expression of Abca1 and Vegfα decreased. This also indicates an association with the M2 phenotype. These results support specific changes in gene expression as characteristic of M1 or M2, and these changes can be used as phenotype indicators.


Committee Members Dr. Bobby Fokidis Dr. Jay Pieczynski Dr. Zeynep Teymuroglu

Rights Holder

Patrick Beane