TAM Switching Assay

Background: The tumor microenvironment has evolved to suppress classical macrophage (M1) activation and to subsequently skew polarization into immunosuppressive (M2-like) tumor associated macrophages (TAMs).  These cells promote tumor growth by suppressing the immune system and promoting angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels). This assay can be used to assess novel therapeutic treatment strategies that will re-route TAMs to switch to classically activated M1 macrophages.

Principle: In this assay primary monocytes or monocytic cell lines are cultured to differentiate into macrophages subsequently polarized to M1 or M2 macrophages. Test article or therapeutic candidate molecules are then cultured with the polarized macrophage to assess the phenotype/functional switch potential. Xeno Diagnostics has the capabilities in place to characterize macrophage plasticity, including assessments of cell viability, phenotype classification and cytokine profiling using in-vitro models


  1. Frontiers | From Monocytes to M1/M2 Macrophages: Phenotypical vs. Functional Differentiation. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2014.00514/full.
  2. Genin, M., Clement, F., Fattaccioli, A., Raes, M. & Michiels, C. M1 and M2 macrophages derived from THP-1 cells differentially modulate the response of cancer cells to etoposide. BMC Cancer 15, 577 (2015).

 Related Assays:

  • Phagocytosis
  • Cell phenotyping
  • T-cell differentiation
  • Macrophage polarization assays
  • Monocyte derived macrophage differentiation