Macrophage M1/M2 Polarisation Assays

Macrophages are important myeloid cells of the immune system that are phagocytic and secrete cytokines that are instrumental in promoting a pro-inflammatory or regulatory immune response and interact with other immune effectors. The M1 (pro-inflammatory) and M2 (regulatory) are the two main macrophage types that are considered important in drug biology studies.

For more information about our M1/M2 macrophage polarisation assay, please contact us at:

In vitro M1/M2 Polarisation (macrophage) Studies

We generate macrophages from a human monocytic cell line. These cells express CD14, CD11c, HLA-DR, CD80, CD86, SIRPa and can be used in mono or co-cultures to study drug effects for various macrophage related outcomes.

The macrophages can be characterised by flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry and microscopy.

These macrophages are easily transformed into inflammatory (M1) or regulatory type (M2) and can also demonstrate effective phagocytosis.


M1/M2 are important in studies of various therapeutic areas and biological pathways:

  • Tumour biology and oncology
  • Wound healing
  • Infection
  • Inflammatory and autoimmune conditions
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cell death and clearance

In recent years much attention has been given to macrophage based models in cancer studies.

Human Cell Line-Based Approach

We offer all our assays with PBMCs and with human cell lines. We use myeloid and lymphocytic cell lines for various immune response assays such as dendritic cell maturation, T cell activation, phagocytosis, etc. We are among the few groups who can generate and demonstrate the use of dendritic cells and macrophages (including M1 and M2) from monocytic cell lines and T cells in activation studies. Conventionally dendritic cells are generated from primary monocytes or bone marrow and T cells or monocytes are separated from primary PBMCs from human donors. The use of cell lines in the initial stage offers a consistent reference assay prior to using primary human cells. Primary human cells used in the initial stage can be variable, expensive, time consuming, and often inconclusive.