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Biochemical and biophysical research communications

Transcriptional regulation and functional characterization of the oxysterol/EBI2 system in primary human macrophages.


PMID 24480442

Abstract

Oxysterols such as 7 alpha, 25-dihydroxycholesterol (7α,25-OHC) are natural ligands for the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-induced gene 2 (EBI2, aka GPR183), a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) highly expressed in immune cells and required for adaptive immune responses. Activation of EBI2 by specific oxysterols leads to chemotaxis of B cells in lymphoid tissues. While the ligand gradient necessary for this critical process of the adaptive immune response is established by a stromal cells subset here we investigate the involvement of the oxysterol/EBI2 system in the innate immune response. First, we show that primary human macrophages express EBI2 and the enzymes needed for ligand production such as cholesterol 25-hydroxylase (CH25H), sterol 27-hydroxylase (CYP27A1), and oxysterol 7α-hydroxylase (CYP7B1). Furthermore, challenge of monocyte-derived macrophages with lipopolysaccharides (LPS) triggers a strong up-regulation of CH25H and CYP7B1 in comparison to a transient increase in EBI2 expression. Stimulation of EBI2 expressed on macrophages leads to calcium mobilization and to directed cell migration. Supernatants of LPS-stimulated macrophages are able to stimulate EBI2 signaling indicating that an induction of CH25H, CYP27A1, and CYP7B1 results in an enhanced production and release of oxysterols into the cellular environment. This is a study characterizing the oxysterol/EBI2 pathway in primary monocyte-derived macrophages. Given the crucial functional role of macrophages in the innate immune response these results encourage further exploration of a possible link to systemic autoimmunity.

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