2009 Volume 32 Issue 4 Pages 564-572
The mechanism of macrophage recognition of oxidatively damaged cells was investigated. Jurkat T cells exposed to various concentrations of H2O2 were bound and phagocytosed by macrophages. The cells exposed to 0.1 mM H2O2 were best bound. The cell-surface ligands recognized by macrophages were suggested to be sialylpolylactosaminyl sugar chains of a major sialoglycoprotein CD43 because 1) the cell binding was inhibited by oligosaccharides containing sialylpolylactosaminyl chains, and their inhibitory activity was destroyed by a polylactosamine-cleaving enzyme endo-β-galactosidase, and by neuraminidase; 2) the oxidized Jurkat cells pretreated with either glycosidase or with anti-CD43 antibody were not bound. The macrophage receptor involved in the binding was suggested to be cell-surface nucleolin because 1) anti-nucleolin antibody inhibited the binding; 2) nucleolin-transfected HEK293 cells bound the oxidized cells; and 3) this binding was inhibited by anti-nucleolin antibody and by anti-CD43 antibody. CD43 on oxidized Jurkat cells tended to form clusters in good accordance with their susceptibility to the macrophage binding. CD43 clustering and the oxidized-cell binding to macrophages were prevented by a caspase inhibitor Z-VAD-fmk, suggesting that the oxidized and bound cells were undergoing apoptosis. Indeed, caspase-3 activity of Jurkat cells increased by the oxidation. These results suggest that moderately oxidized cells undergo apoptosis and are recognized by macrophages as early apoptotic cells.