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J Immunol. 2011 Sep 1;187(5):2268-77. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1101008. Epub 2011 Jul 20.

SIRPα/CD172a regulates eosinophil homeostasis.

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Laboratory of Immunodynamics, World Premier International Immunology Frontier Research Center, Osaka University, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.


Eosinophils are abundant in the lamina propria of the small intestine, but they rarely show degranulation in situ under steady-state conditions. In this study, using two novel mAbs, we found that intestinal eosinophils constitutively expressed a high level of an inhibitory receptor signal regulatory protein α (SIRPα)/CD172a and a low, but significant, level of a tetraspanin CD63, whose upregulation is closely associated with degranulation. Cross-linking SIRPα/CD172a on the surface of wild-type eosinophils significantly inhibited the release of eosinophil peroxidase induced by the calcium ionophore A23187, whereas this cross-linking effect was not observed in eosinophils isolated from mice expressing a mutated SIRPα/CD172a that lacks most of its cytoplasmic domain (SIRPα Cyto(-/-)). The SIRPα Cyto(-/-) eosinophils showed reduced viability, increased CD63 expression, and increased eosinophil peroxidase release with or without A23187 stimulation in vitro. In addition, SIRPα Cyto(-/-) mice showed increased frequencies of Annexin V-binding eosinophils and free MBP(+)CD63(+) extracellular granules, as well as increased tissue remodeling in the small intestine under steady-state conditions. Mice deficient in CD47, which is a ligand for SIRPα/CD172a, recapitulated these phenomena. Moreover, during Th2-biased inflammation, increased eosinophil cell death and degranulation were obvious in a number of tissues, including the small intestine, in the SIRPα Cyto(-/-) mice compared with wild-type mice. Collectively, our results indicated that SIRPα/CD172a regulates eosinophil homeostasis, probably by interacting with CD47, with substantial effects on eosinophil survival. Thus, SIRPα/CD172a is a potential therapeutic target for eosinophil-associated diseases.

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