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Expression of the transferrin receptor in murine peritoneal macrophages is modulated in the different stages of activation


, : Expression of the transferrin receptor in murine peritoneal macrophages is modulated in the different stages of activation. Journal of Immunology 132(5): 2285-2290

A specific high affinity binding site for the serum glycoprotein transferrin was identified on murine peritoneal macrophages. The binding reached equilibrium within 60 min and was reversible, saturable, and specific for transferrin. Although the presence of this receptor was detected on the cell surface by studies carried out using intact cells, the majority (70 to 90%) of the binding activity was detectable only in detergent extracts of such cells. This suggests that a substantial portion of the binding activity is localized within the macrophage. The association constant (Ka) for binding to intact cells (6 to 9 X 10(8) M-1) was comparable to values reported for transferrin receptors described on other cell types. The expression of transferrin binding activity was examined in macrophages exhibiting qualitatively and quantitatively different degrees of functional activation. Resident peritoneal macrophages, exudate macrophages primed by elicitation with pyran copolymer, and activated macrophages induced by chronic infection of mice with bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) or elicitation with heat killed Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) had low numbers of binding sites (1000 to 5000 total sites/cell). Macrophages elicited by sterile inflammatory agents (thioglycollate broth, fetal bovine serum, or casein) all exhibited a greater number of transferrin receptors (15,000 to 20,000 total sites/cell). This modulation did not appear to result from differential shifts between surface and internal loci. Our results suggest that the expression of the transferrin receptor may be a useful marker of the responsive stage of macrophage functional activation and the membrane changes that accompany activation.

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Accession: 005432256

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