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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Dec 10;93(25):14833-8.

Cell surface expression of mouse macrosialin and human CD68 and their role as macrophage receptors for oxidized low density lipoprotein.

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Department of Medicine, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla 92093-0682, USA.


We have previously identified a 94- to 97-kDa oxidized low density lipoprotein (LDL)-binding protein in mouse macrophages as macrosialin (MS), a member of the lamp family. Earlier immunostaining studies have shown that MS and its human homolog, CD68, are predominantly intracellular proteins. However, using sensitive techniques such as flow cytometry (FACS) and cell-surface-specific biotinylation, we now show that there is significant surface expression of these proteins. FACS analysis of intact cells using mAb FA/11 showed small but definite surface expression of MS in resident mouse peritoneal macrophages but this was greatly enhanced with thioglycollate elicitation. Biotinylation of intact cells and detergent-solubilized cell preparations followed by immunoprecipitation revealed 10-15% of the total MS content of elicited macrophages on the plasma membrane. Similar results were obtained with untreated RAW 264.7 cells. FACS analysis of intact THP-1 monocytic cells showed minimal surface expression of CD68 on unactivated cells (4% of total cell content). Stimulation with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate increased both surface and total CD68 expression considerably. Furthermore, the specific binding at 4 degrees C and uptake at 37 degrees C of 125I-labeled oxidized LDL by activated THP-1 cells was inhibited by 30-50% by CD68 mAbs KP-1 and EBM-11. Thus, although the surface expression of MS/CD68 at steady-state represents only a small percentage of their total cellular content, these proteins can play a significant role in oxidized LDL uptake by activated macrophages in vitro and could contribute to foam cell formation in atherosclerotic lesions.

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