Macrophage response to apoptotic cells varies with the apoptotic trigger and is not altered by a deficiency in LRP expression

Ana Kozmar, Mallary C. Greenlee-Wacker, Suzanne S. Bohlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rapid engulfment of apoptotic cells in the absence of inflammation is required for maintenance of normal tissue homeostasis. The low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein-1 (LRP/CD91) is a receptor mediating interactions between macrophages and apoptotic cells, but recent reports have challenged the requirement of this surface protein in this process. To explore the role of LRP in the recognition of apoptotic cells, target cells were generated with two distinct inducers of apoptotic cell death, etoposide and actinomycin-D. Jurkat T cells rendered apoptotic with etoposide exposed phosphatidylserine (PtdSer) and triggered engulfment by murine bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDM), however they failed to suppress lipopolysaccharide-driven inflammatory cytokine secretion or, correspondingly, NFκB-dependent or TNFα promoter-driven transcriptional activity in transfected RAW264.7 macrophages. In contrast, induction of apoptosis in either Jurkat cells or HeLa epithelial cells with actinomycin-D resulted in diminution of proinflammatory signaling from RAW264.7 cells and BMDM. Treatment of actinomycin-treated Jurkat cells with Q-VD-OPh, an irreversible inhibitor of caspase activity, blocked apoptosis, as assessed by the inhibition of PtdSer exposure; however, the cells maintained anti-inflammatory activity. Anti-inflammatory signaling mediated by actinomycin-treated cells was not affected by a macrophage-specific deletion in LRP. Moreover, the presence of LRP on macrophages did not alter the efficiency of engulfment of apoptotic cells in vitro or in vivo. These data demonstrate that the method of induction of apoptosis of target cells influences subsequent macrophage responsiveness, and that LRP is not required for engulfment of apoptotic cells regardless of the method of induction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-259
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Innate Immunity
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Actinomycin-D
  • Apoptotic cells
  • Etoposide
  • LRP
  • Macrophages
  • Phagocytosis


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