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Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2005 Aug;289(2):L186-95. Epub 2005 Apr 22.

Scavenger receptor class A type I/II (CD204) null mice fail to develop fibrosis following silica exposure.

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Univ. of Montana, Center for Environmental Health Sciences, Dept. of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences, Skaggs Bldg., Rm. 155, Missoula, MT 59812-1552, USA.


Alveolar macrophages express the class A scavenger receptor (CD204) (Babaev VR, Gleaves LA, Carter KJ, Suzuki H, Kodama T, Fazio S, and Linton MF. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 20: 2593-2599, 2000); yet its role in vivo in lung defense against environmental particles has not been clearly defined. In the current study, CD204 null mice (129Sv background) were used to investigate the link between CD204 and downstream events of inflammation and fibrosis following silica exposure in vivo. CD204-/- macrophages were shown to recognize and uptake silica in vitro, although this response was attenuated compared with 129Sv wild-type mice. The production of tumor necrosis factor-alpha in lavage fluid was significantly enhanced in CD204 null mice compared with wild-type mice following silica exposure. Moreover, after exposure to environmental particles, CD204-/- macrophages exhibited improved cell viability in a dose-dependent manner compared with wild-type macrophages. Finally, histopathology from a murine model of chronic silicosis in 129Sv wild-type mice displayed typical focal lesions, interstitial thickening with increased connective tissue matrix, and cellular infiltrate into air space. In contrast, CD204-/- mice exhibited little to no deposition of collagen, yet they demonstrated enhanced accumulation of inflammatory cells largely composed of neutrophils. Our findings point to an important role of CD204 in mounting an efficient and appropriately regulated immune response against inhaled particles. Furthermore, these results indicate that the functions of CD204 are critical to the development of fibrosis and the resolution of inflammation.

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