[The role of the class A scavenger receptors, SR-A and MARCO, in the immune system. Part 2. Contribution to recognition and phagocytosis of pathogens as well as induction of immune response].
ABSTRACT Recognition of pathogens by innate immune cells is mediated by pattern recognition receptors (PRR), which include the class A scavenger receptors (SR), SR-A/CD204 and MARCO. It seems that in addition to activating innate immune responses, phagocytosis and inflammation, this initial, PRR-mediated recognition also determines polarization of adaptive immune responses (Th1, Th2, Th17 or Treg). It has been demonstrated that class A SR are major PRR mediating opsonin-independent phagocytosis. SR-A- or MARCO-deficient mice exhibit impaired ability to control bacterial infections, resulting in increased mortality. Our results suggest that in addition to impaired bacterial destruction by macrophages, dysregulation of immune responses may contribute to defective antibacterial defense in class A SR-deficient mice. Using specific receptor ligation with antibodies, we showed that SR-A and MARCO regulate in an opposite manner production of IL-12 in macrophages, the cytokine playing a crucial role in Th1/Th2 polarization of adaptive immune responses. Together with the observation that expression of MARCO is increased by different Th1-polarizing factors and decreased by Th2-polarizing factors, these results suggest that changes in relative expression levels of SR-A and MARCO may be a mechanism of sustained polarization of adaptive immune responses.