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Am J Clin Pathol. 2004 Sep;122(3):359-69.

Gaucher cells demonstrate a distinct macrophage phenotype and resemble alternatively activated macrophages.

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Department of Immunology, Erasmus Medical Center and MS Center ErasMS, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.


Although the existence of anti-inflammatory alternatively activated macrophages (aamphi) has been accepted widely based on in vitro studies, their in vivo location, phenotype, and function still are debated. Gaucher disease (GD) is caused by a genetic deficiency in the lysosomal enzyme glucocerebrosidase and is characterized by accumulation of glycosphingolipids in so-called Gaucher cells (GCs). By using immunohistochemical analysis, we investigated whether this results in an aamphi phenotype. GCs are macrophage-like cells, expressing acid phosphatase, CD68, CD14, and HLA class II, but not CD11b, CD40, or dendritic cell markers. GCs show infrequent immunoreactivity for mannose receptor GCs did not express proinflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor alpha and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1, but did express the aamphi markers CD163, CCL18, and interleukin-1 receptor antagonist. Furthermore, CD36 and signal receptor protein alpha, involved in lipid uptake, also were observed on GCs. Thus, GCs represent a distinctive population of myeloid cells that resemble aamphi but differ from previously described in vitro aamphi.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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