Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Name

Biomedical Sciences

Department or School/College

Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Committee Chair

Andrij Holian

Commitee Members

Keith Parker, Howard Beall, Elizabeth Putnam, Horst von Recum


Cell fusion, Inflammation, Macrophage, Mouse, Multinucleated giant cell, Particles


University of Montana


Multinucleated giant cells (MGC) are homotypic macrophage syncytia associated with granulomas. Despite their correlation with pathology, MGC functional contributions to inflammation are relatively unknown. The objective of this work was to gain an understanding of MGC phenotype. First, techniques were developed to better enable the study of these cells in vitro. Second, inorganic particles known to cause inflammation were observed to cause MGC formation in the lungs. Finally, the particle that resulted in the highest macrophage fusion was used together with the in vitro system to compare MGC and macrophage phenotype in response to stimulation. The results contribute to fundamental MGC cell biology knowledge that is important toward developing approaches to control the foreign body response and understanding the role of MGC in granulomatous disease.

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Instructional Video - CountAndConfirm


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