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J Immunol. 2007 May 1;178(9):5912-20.

Scavenger Receptors SR-AI/II and MARCO limit pulmonary dendritic cell migration and allergic airway inflammation.

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Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


The class A scavenger receptors (SR-A) MARCO and SR-AI/II are expressed on lung macrophages (MPhis) and dendritic cells (DCs) and function in innate defenses against inhaled pathogens and particles. Increased expression of SR-As in the lungs of mice in an OVA-asthma model suggested an additional role in modulating responses to an inhaled allergen. After OVA sensitization and aerosol challenge, SR-AI/II and MARCO-deficient mice exhibited greater eosinophilic airway inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness compared with wild-type mice. A role for simple SR-A-mediated Ag clearance ("scavenging") by lung MPhis was excluded by the observation of a comparable uptake of fluorescent OVA by wild-type and SR-A-deficient lung MPhis and DCs. In contrast, airway instillation of fluorescent Ag revealed a significantly higher traffic of labeled DCs to thoracic lymph nodes in SR-A-deficient mice than in controls. The increased migration of SR-A-deficient DCs was accompanied by the enhanced proliferation in thoracic lymph nodes of adoptively transferred OVA-specific T cells after airway OVA challenge. The data identify a novel role for SR-As expressed on lung DCs in the down-regulation of specific immune responses to aeroallergens by the reduction of DC migration from the site of Ag uptake to the draining lymph nodes.

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