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PLoS One. 2013 May 29;8(5):e64105. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0064105. Print 2013.

Functional interaction of cockroach allergens and mannose receptor (CD206) in human circulating fibrocytes.

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  • 1Johns Hopkins Asthma and Allergy Center, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.



The innate pattern recognition C-type-lectin receptors (CLRs), including mannose receptor (MRC1; CD206), have been suggested to functionally interact with allergens and are critical in controlling immune response. Fibrocytes have been considered to play a role in allergic asthma. Here we sought to investigate the functional interaction of cockroach allergens with CD206 in fibrocytes.


Profiling of N-linked glycans from natural purified cockroach allergen Bla g 2 was accomplished by MALDI-MS. The binding activity of cockroach allergens to CD206 was determined by solid-phase binding assays. Levels of CD206 expression on human fibrocytes and CD206 mediated signaling and cytokine production in Bla g 2 treated fibrocytes were determined.


Profiling of N-linked glycans from Bla g 2 revealed a predominance of small, mannose-terminated glycans with and without fucose. Significant binding of Bla g 2 to CD206 was observed, which was inhibited by yeast mannan (a known CD206 ligand), free mannose, and a blocking antibody (anti-hMR). Flow cytometric analyses of human fibrocytes (CD45(+) and collagen-1(+)) showed selective expression of CD206 on fibrocytes. Functionally, a concentration-dependent uptake of FITC labeled Bla g 2 by fibrocytes was observed, but was significantly inhibited by anti-hMR. Bla g 2 can stimulate up-regulation of inflammatory cytokines including TNF-alpha and IL-6 and activation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB/p65), p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38), ERK, and JNK in cultured fibrocytes. This increased secretion of TNF-alpha and IL-6 and activation of NF-kB, ERK, and JNK was significantly inhibited by the addition of either mannan or mannose. Furthermore, Bla g 2 induced increase in TNF-alpha and IL-6 production was also inhibited by the use of NF-kB, ERK, and JNK inhibitors.


These results provide evidence supporting the existence of a functional cockroach allergen-CD206 axis in human fibrocytes, suggesting a role for CD206 in regulating allergen induced allergic responses in asthma.

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