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Am J Pathol. 1996 Sep;149(3):975-85.

Interleukin-4-induced macrophage fusion is prevented by inhibitors of mannose receptor activity.

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Institute of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, USA.


A potential role for the macrophage mannose receptor in human monocyte-derived macrophage fusion was explored by testing the effects of previously described inhibitors of its activity on the formation of interleukin-4-induced foreign body giant cells in vitro Giant cell formation was prevented or reduced in the presence of alpha-man-nan and synthetic neoglycoprotein conjugates according to the following pattern of relative inhibition: mannose-bovine serum albumin (BSA) > N-acetylgucosamine-BSA congruent to glucose-BSA. Laminarin (beta-glucan) or galactose-BSA were not inhibitory. Swainsonine and castanospermine, inhibitors of glycoprotein processing that interfere with the arrival of newly synthesized mannose receptors at the cell surface, also attenuated macrophage fusion and the formation of giant cells, whereas another glycosidase inhibitor, deoxymannojirimycin, was without effect. Mannose receptors were confirmed to be specifically up-regulated by interleukin-4 in this culture system and also demonstrated to be present and concentrated at macrophage fusion interfaces. These data suggest that the macrophage mannose receptor may be an essential participant in the mechanism of interleukin-4-induced macrophage fusion and implicate a novel function for this endocytic/phagocytic receptor in mediating foreign body giant cell formation at sites of chronic inflammation.

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