Article

C-reactive protein functions as a negative regulator of macrophage activation induced by apoptotic DNA.

Institute for Immunobiology and Department of Immunology, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China.
Protein & Cell (Impact Factor: 3.22). 08/2011; 2(8):672-9. DOI: 10.1007/s13238-011-1084-4
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT C-reactive protein (CRP), an acute-phase protein with an ability to bind to nuclear antigen, has been reported to regulate cytokine secretion and modulate immune responses. We previously reported that activated syngeneic lymphocyte-derived apoptotic DNA (apopDNA) could induce macrophage activation and contribute to the initiation and progression of lupus nephritis. It is reasonable to hypothesize that CRP might regulate apopDNA-induced macrophage activation. Herein, CRP was shown to promote macrophage-mediated apopDNA uptake by binding to apopDNA (CRP/apopDNA complex). Notably, CRP/apopDNA treatment inhibited the production of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines by macrophages which could be induced by apopDNA alone. Further coculture and transwell studies revealed that CRP/apopDNA-induced macrophages prohibited apopDNA-induced macrophage activation in an IL-10 dependent manner. These results provide insight into the potential mechanism of CRP regulatory activity in macrophage activation induced by apopDNA in the context of lupus nephritis and other autoimmune diseases.

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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: Lupus nephritis, a major cause of morbidity in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), is generally thought to be induced by macrophage-mediated inflammation following deposition of various autoantibodies in kidneys. We previously reported that macrophage aberrant activation induced by activated lymphocyte-derived apoptotic DNA (apopDNA) have been found to play pathogenic roles in the immunodysregulation in lupus nephritis. However, DNA sensor(s) involved in apopDNA-induced macrophage activation and lupus nephritis remains largely undefined. Herein, we aimed to reveal the DNA sensor(s) involved in SLE disease. METHODS: Correlation between the level of absent in melanoma 2 (AIM2), a cytoplasmic DNA receptor in the inflammasome pathway, and the clinical severity of SLE disease were analyzed in SLE patients as well as in lupus mice. Activated macrophages induced by apopDNA were analyzed by real-time PCR and western blot for AIM2 expression. After silencing of AIM2 via siRNA-mediated knockdown in vitro and in vivo, macrophage activation, inflammatory response, and SLE syndrome were assessed. RESULTS: AIM2 expression was closely correlated with the severity of disease in SLE patients and in lupus mice. Importantly, AIM2 expression was significantly increased in apopDNA-induced macrophages and closely correlated with macrophage activation. Knockdown of AIM2 significantly blunted apopDNA-induced macrophage activation. Furthermore, blockade of AIM2 expression notably ameliorated SLE syndrome via impeding macrophage activation and dampening inflammatory response in apopDNA-induced lupus mice. CONCLUSIONS: Our results implied that AIM2 might act as an important DNA sensor and a potential biomarker for apopDNA-induced macrophage functional maturation and SLE disease.
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