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Eur J Immunol. 2005 May;35(5):1472-81.

Critical role for complement receptor 3 (CD11b/CD18), but not for Fc receptors, in killing of Streptococcus pyogenes by neutrophils in human immune serum.

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  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, Section of Microbiology, Immunology and Glycobiology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.


During phagocytosis, surface receptors on neutrophils interact with pathogens opsonized with complement factor C3b/iC3b and in some cases with antibodies. In human immune sera antibodies directed against surface-bound M proteins mediated killing of Streptococcus pyogenes by neutrophils. Surprisingly, blocking of the Fc receptors had little effect on the killing. In contrast, inhibition of C3b/iC3b generation, or blocking of the major neutrophil iC3b receptor CD11b/CD18, enabled S. pyogenes to grow efficiently in immune sera. Inhibition of CD11b/CD18, but not of CD32, the major neutrophil signaling Fc receptor, prevented Streptococcus-induced NADPH oxidase-dependent respiratory burst, and blocking of C3b/iC3b formation inhibited Streptococcus-induced activation of Cdc42, a small GTPase critically involved in transmitting pro-inflammatory signals to the cytoskeleton. Consequently, ligation of CD11b/CD18 by bacteria-bound iC3b is necessary for inducing a neutrophil response leading to elimination of S. pyogenes in immune human serum.

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