Macrophages play an important role in the immune system. They also participate in multiple processes including angiogenesis and triggering of inflammation. The present study summarizes pieces of knowledge on the importance of macrophages in disease, especially the inflammation. Special attention is paid to the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway (CAP) associated with the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) and the parasympathetic nervous system. The current pharmacological effectiveness in suppressing the inflammation in general and the septic shock in particular, is limited. CAP was discovered recently and it seems to be a suitable target for the development of new drugs. Moreover, available drugs binding to either nAChR or acetylcholinesterase (AChE) are candidates for either an inhibition or enhancement of CAP. Though the current scientific databases do not include all necessary data on the association of CAP with body functions and the research is quite intensive, the objective of the present review is to introduce the current trends and to critically evaluate CAP and macrophage-associated pathways.
Keywords: Innate immunity, cell, infection, parasympathetic nervous system, inflammation, tumour necrosis factor, acetylcholine receptor, acetylcholinesterase, Macrophage-Assisted Inflammation, Cholinergic Anti-Inflammatory Pathway, angiogenesis, nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, septic shock, homeostasis, Abscess forma-tion, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), cyclooxygenase enzyme, hydrocortisone, fludrocortisone, arachidonic acid, prostaglandin, acetylsali-cylic acid, isobutyl propanoic phenolic acid, ibu-profen, naproxen, Monocytes, glucocorticoids, phagosomes, major histocompatibil-ity complex, human leukocyte antigen, LEUKOCYTES, reactive nitrogen species (RNS), lipid kinases, phosphatases, Neisseria gon-orrhoeae, prophylaxis, antioxidants, ascorbic acid, atherosclerosis, Mycobacteria, Chlamydia, Schistosoma, Trypanosoma, HIV-1 Infection, AIDS, Acquired immune deficiency syndrome, Bungarus mul-ticinctus, andcorticosteroids