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Immunology. 2000 Jul;100(3):364-9.

Comparative analysis of integrin expression on monocyte-derived macrophages and monocyte-derived dendritic cells.

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Department of Haematology and Oncology, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.


Both macrophages (MAC) and dendritic cells (DC) are members of the mononuclear phagocyte system (MPS) with monocytes (MO) as common precursor cells. Cells of the MPS are able to take up, process and present antigens to T lymphocytes, thereby inducing a primary or secondary immune response. Adhesion molecules are of crucial importance for the interaction of antigen-presenting cells with immune cells, especially T lymphocytes. By representational difference analysis, we identified CD49c (VLA-3), a member of the beta1-integrin family of adhesion receptors, as differentiation-associated antigen in MO-derived MAC. In contrast, MO-derived DC did not express CD49c mRNA. These data prompted us to compare the integrin expression pattern of MAC and DC. Both cell types showed a low expression of the alpha-chains of the beta1-integrins CD49a, CD49b, CD49d and CD49e, whereas a marked difference was observed for CD49c and CD49f. Expression of both integrins increased during MO to MAC differentiation, but was not detectable on DC. In parallel the beta1-chain (CD29) was clearly up-regulated during MO to MAC differentiation but was only weakly expressed on DC. On the other hand, the beta2-integrins CD11a, CD11b, CD11c and CD18 were all expressed on MAC and DC. Beside their role in cell-cell interaction and adhesion, beta2-integrins are also known as possible binding molecules for bacteria and lipopolysaccharide (LPS), especially for high LPS concentrations. Therefore we investigated the LPS response of MAC versus DC in terms of tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) release. DC were less responsive to low doses of LPS, which can easily be explained by the very low CD14 expression on DC compared for MAC. In contrast, the TNF-alpha response was comparable to MAC when DC were stimulated with high LPS concentrations. Our results show a specific, differentiation-dependent pattern of beta1- and beta2-integrin expression on in vitro-generated MAC and DC. We suggest that the high expression of CD11/CD18 on DC could be involved in the LPS binding of DC. As LPS is not only an activation but also a differentiation stimulus for DC, the expression of CD11/CD18 on DC may be important for the successful maturation of DC and thereby the initiation of a primary immune response.

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