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BMC Immunology

, 11:52

First Online: 19 October 2010Received: 19 August 2010Accepted: 19 October 2010

Abstract

BackgroundInterleukin-33 is a member of the IL-1 cytokine family whose functions are mediated and modulated by the ST2 receptor. IL-33-ST2 expression and interactions have been explored in mouse macrophages but little is known about the effect of IL-33 on human macrophages. The expression of ST2 transcript and protein levels, and IL-33-mediated effects on M1 i.e. classical activation and M2 i.e. alternative activation chemokine marker expression in human bone marrow-derived macrophages were examined.

ResultsHuman macrophages constitutively expressed the membrane-associated i.e. ST2L and the soluble i.e. sST2 ST2 receptors. M2 IL-4 + IL-13 skewing stimuli markedly increased the expression of ST2L, but neither polarizing cytokine treatment promoted the release of sST2 from these cells. When added to naïve macrophages alone, IL-33 directly enhanced the expression of CCL3. In combination with LPS, IL-33 blocked the expression of the M2 chemokine marker CCL18, but did not alter CCL3 expression in these naive cells. The addition of IL-33 to M1 macrophages markedly increased the expression of CCL18 above that detected in untreated M1 macrophages. Similarly, alternatively activated human macrophages treated with IL-33 exhibited enhanced expression of CCL18 and the M2 marker mannose receptor above that detected in M2 macrophages alone.

ConclusionsTogether, these data suggest that primary responses to IL-33 in bone marrow derived human macrophages favors M1 chemokine generation while its addition to polarized human macrophages promotes or amplifies M2 chemokine expression.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2172-11-52 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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