Phagocytosis prevents the release of potentially harmful or immunogenic materials from dying cells. Milk fat globule epidermal growth factor (EGF)-factor VIII (MFG-E8) mediates the clearance of apoptotic cells. We have previously shown that the administration of MFG-E8-rich exosomes from immature dendritic cells promotes the phagocytosis of apoptotic cells and improves survival in sepsis. Because endotoxin is elevated in polymicrobial sepsis, we hypothesized that down-regulation of MFG-E8 is mediated via the LPS-CD14 pathway, eventually leading to the accruement of apoptotic cells. Polymicrobial sepsis was induced by cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) in CD14-deficient (CD14-/-), TLR4-mutated and wild-type (WT) mice. In addition, endotoxemia was elicited by i.p. injection of LPS. LPS was also neutralized by pretreating CLP-induced WT mice with polymyxin B. Splenic MFG-E8 expression, phagocytic activity, and apoptosis were assessed 5 and 20 h after CLP or 5 h after LPS administration. In septic WT mice, MFG-E8 mRNA and protein levels were suppressed by 49 and 33%, respectively. Endotoxemia reduced MFG-E8 mRNA expression in a dose dependent manner and the down-regulation of MFG-E8 mRNA expression in CLP-induced sepsis was attenuated by polymyxin B. This CLP-induced suppression was not observed in both CD14-/- and TLR4-mutated mice. CLP significantly decreased phagocytic activity of peritoneal macrophages in WT (by 30%), but not in CD14-/- mice. CLP also induced significant apoptosis in the spleen of WT (by 61%), but less in CD14-/- mice. Thus, MFG-E8 production is down-regulated in sepsis by LPS-CD14 dependent fashion, leading to a reduction of phagocytosis of apoptotic cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy