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Cell. 2013 Apr 11;153(2):362-75. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.03.010.

Nr4a1-dependent Ly6C(low) monocytes monitor endothelial cells and orchestrate their disposal.

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Centre for Molecular and Cellular Biology of Inflammation, King's College London, London SE1 1UL, UK.


The functions of Nr4a1-dependent Ly6C(low) monocytes remain enigmatic. We show that they are enriched within capillaries and scavenge microparticles from their lumenal side in a steady state. In the kidney cortex, perturbation of homeostasis by a TLR7-dependent nucleic acid "danger" signal, which may signify viral infection or local cell death, triggers Gαi-dependent intravascular retention of Ly6C(low) monocytes by the endothelium. Then, monocytes recruit neutrophils in a TLR7-dependent manner to mediate focal necrosis of endothelial cells, whereas the monocytes remove cellular debris. Prevention of Ly6C(low) monocyte development, crawling, or retention in Nr4a1(-/-), Itgal(-/-), and Tlr7(host-/-BM+/+) and Cx3cr1(-/-) mice, respectively, abolished neutrophil recruitment and endothelial killing. Prevention of neutrophil recruitment in Tlr7(host+/+BM-/-) mice or by neutrophil depletion also abolished endothelial cell necrosis. Therefore, Ly6C(low) monocytes are intravascular housekeepers that orchestrate the necrosis by neutrophils of endothelial cells that signal a local threat sensed via TLR7 followed by the in situ phagocytosis of cellular debris.

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