We describe the type IIA physical realization of the unoriented topological string introduced by Walcher, describe its M-theory lift, and show that it allows to compute the open and unoriented topological amplitude in terms of one-loop diagram of BPS M2-brane states. This confirms and allows to generalize the conjectured BPS integer expansion of the topological amplitude. The M-theory lift of the orientifold is freely acting on the M-theory circle, so that integer multiplicities are a weighted version of the (equivariant subsector of the) original closed oriented Gopakumar-Vafa invariants. The M-theory lift also provides new perspective on the topological tadpole cancellation conditions. We finally comment on the M-theory version of other unoriented topological strings, and clarify certain misidentifications in earlier discussions in the literature.

%B Journal of High Energy Physics %V 2014 %P 54 %8 Aug %G eng %U https://doi.org/10.1007/JHEP08(2014)054 %R 10.1007/JHEP08(2014)054