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Immunobiology. 2004;209(1-2):199-207.

Expression of CD33-related siglecs on human mononuclear phagocytes, monocyte-derived dendritic cells and plasmacytoid dendritic cells.

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Wellcome Trust Biocentre, School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Dow Street, Dundee, Scotland, UK.


Siglecs are sialic acid binding Ig-like lectins mostly expressed in the haemopoietic and immune systems. Amongst the 11 human siglecs, there are eight proteins highly related to CD33 which have biochemical features of inhibitory receptors, containing two conserved tyrosine-based inhibitory motifs. Five of these (CD33/siglec-3, -5, -7, -9 and -10) are expressed on circulating monocytes. Here we show that monocytes cultured to differentiate into macrophages using either GM-CSF or M-CSF retained expression of these siglecs and their levels were unaffected following stimulation with LPS. In comparison, monocyte-derived dendritic cells down-modulated siglec-7 and -9 following maturation with LPS. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells in human blood expressed siglec-5 only. On monocytes, siglec-5 was shown to mediate rapid uptake of anti-siglec-5 (Fab)2 fragments into early endosomes. This suggests, in addition to inhibitory signalling, a potential role in endocytosis for siglec-5 and the other CD33-related siglecs. Our results show that siglecs are differentially expressed on mononuclear phagocytes and dendritic cells and that some can be modulated by stimuli that promote maturation and differentiation.

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