Macrophages play a crucial role in homeostasis, regeneration, and innate and adaptive immune responses. Functionally different macrophages have different shapes and molecular phenotypes that depend on the actin cytoskeleton, which is regulated by the small GTPase RhoA. The naive M0 macrophages are slightly elongated, proinflammatory M1 are round, and M2 antiinflammatory macrophages are elongated. We have recently shown in the rodent model system that genetic or pharmacologic interference with the RhoA pathway deregulates the macrophage actin cytoskeleton, causes extreme macrophage elongation, and prevents macrophage migration. Here, we report that an exposure of macrophages to a nonuniform magnetic field causes extreme elongation of macrophages and has a profound effect on their molecular components and organelles. Using immunostaining and Western blotting, we observed that magnetic force rearranges the macrophage actin cytoskeleton, the Golgi complex, and the cation channel receptor TRPM2, and modifies the expression of macrophage molecular markers. We have found that the magnetic-field-induced alterations are very similar to changes caused by RhoA interference. We also analyzed magnetic-field-induced forces acting on macrophages and found that the location and alignment of magnetic-field-elongated macrophages correlate very well with the simulated distribution and orientation of such magnetic force lines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2001-2013
Number of pages13
JournalBiophysical Journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 24 2018


  • Journal Article

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics


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