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FEBS Lett. 2002 Aug 28;526(1-3):93-6.

Only the soluble form of the scavenger receptor CD163 acts inhibitory on phorbol ester-activated T-lymphocytes, whereas membrane-bound protein has no effect.

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Institute of Experimental Dermatology, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster, Germany.


The extracellular moiety of the hemoglobin/haptoglobin scavenger receptor CD163 (RM3/1 antigen) can be shed from monocytes and is a normal plasma component. We found that in a dose-dependent manner soluble CD163 induces a decrease in CD69 expression, a reduced [(3)H]thymidine uptake and a down-regulated matrix metalloproteinase-9 RNA expression in phorbol myristate acetate-stimulated T-cells. Co-culturing T-cells on transgenic fibroblasts, expressing membrane-bound CD163, yielded no differences compared to culture on non-transfected cells. We conclude that CD163 has at least two distinct functions: the clearance of hemoglobin in its cell-bound form and participation in anti-inflammation as a soluble factor, exhibiting cytokine-like functions.

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