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Inflammation. 2013 Apr;36(2):482-92. doi: 10.1007/s10753-012-9569-8.

Evaluation of CHI3L-1 and CHIT-1 expression in differentiated and polarized macrophages.

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Department of Bio-medical Sciences, University of Catania, Via Androne, 83, 95124, Catania, Italy.


Chitinase 3-like protein 1 (CHI3L-1) and chitotriosidase (CHIT-1) are members of the chitinase family. CHI3L-1 is a newly recognized protein that is secreted by activated macrophages and neutrophils and expressed in a broad spectrum of inflammatory conditions and cancers. In human plasma, CHIT-1 activity has been proposed as a biochemical marker of macrophage activation. Although CHI3L-1 expression in inflammation is under examination, little is known regarding its regulation during macrophages' full maturation and polarization. In this study, we compared CHI3L-1 and CHIT-1 modulation during monocyte to macrophage transition and polarization. Gene expression analysis was investigated by real-time PCR. We found that during the maturation of monocytes into macrophages, the expression of both CHI3L-1 and CHIT-1 increased exponentially over time. Additionally, we observed a different regulation of CHI3L-1 and CHIT-1 in undifferentiated monocytes under stimulation with lipopolysaccharide, interferon-γ, and interleukin-4, at the same concentration used to polarize macrophages. Our finding suggests that in the immune response, the role of CHI3L-1 and CHIT-1 is not restricted to innate immunity, but they are also protagonists in acquired immunity.

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