Induction of Live Cell Phagocytosis by a Specific Combination of Inflammatory Stimuli.

PMID 28733045


Conditions of severe hyper-inflammation can lead to uncontrolled activation of macrophages, and the ensuing phagocytosis of live cells. However, relationships between inflammatory stimuli and uncontrolled phagocytosis of live cells by macrophages are poorly understood. To identify mediators of this process, we established phagocytosis assays of live cells by stimulating macrophages with CpG DNA, interferon-γ, and anti-interleukin-10 receptor antibody. In this model, various cell surface receptors were upregulated on macrophages, and phagocytosis of live cells was induced in a Rac1-dependent manner. Subsequent inhibition of the ICAM-1, VCAM-1, and both of these receptors abolished in vitro and in vivo phagocytosis of live T cells, myeloid cells, and B cells, respectively. Specifically, the reduction in lymphocyte numbers due to in vivo activation of macrophages was ameliorated in Icam-1-deficient mice. In addition, overexpression of ICAM-1 or VCAM-1 in non-phagocytic NIH3T3 cells led to active phagocytosis of live cells. These data indicate molecular mechanisms underlying live cell phagocytosis induced by hyper-inflammation, and this experimental model will be useful to clarify the pathophysiological mechanisms of hemophagocytosis and to indicate therapeutic targets.