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Cell Tissue Res. 1998 May;292(2):311-23.

Distribution of murine mannose receptor expression from early embryogenesis through to adulthood.

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Laboratory of Developmental Immunology, Department of Pediatrics, Jackson 14, Massachusetts General Hospital, Blossom Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


The mannose receptor is a 175-kDa transmembrane glycoprotein that appears to be expressed on the surface of terminally differentiated macrophages and Langerhans cells. The ectodomain of the mannose receptor has eight carbohydrate recognition domains. The receptor recognizes the patterns of sugars that adorn a wide array of bacteria, parasites, yeast, fungi, and mannosylated ligands. Clearance studies in whole animals have localized radiolabeled ligands, such as mannosylated bovine serum albumen, not only to macrophages, but also to liver sinusoidal endothelial cells. Hitherto, there has been no comprehensive analysis of expression of the mannose receptor in embryonic and adult mouse tissues. In this study, we have undertaken a systematic survey of the expression of the mannose receptor from early embryogenesis through to adulthood. The mannose receptor is expressed on tissue macrophages throughout the adult mouse as expected. However, the mannose receptor is first observed on embryonic day 9 on cells that line blood island vessel walls in the yolk sac. The mannose receptor is localized on sinusoidal endothelial cells in embryonic liver by embryonic day 11 and in bone marrow at embryonic day 17. This pattern persists in these organs throughout embryogenesis into adulthood when sinusoidal endothelial cells of lymph nodes also express the mannose receptor. The receptor is also found on lymphatic endothelial cells of small intestine. In contrast, sinusoids of spleen and thymus do not express mannose receptor antigen. This study demonstrates that the mannose receptor is expressed on tissue macrophages and on subsets of vascular and lymphatic endothelial cells. Thus, the mannose receptor maybe a marker of the so-called reticuloendothelial system.

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