Accelerated Fas-mediated apoptosis of monocytes and maturing macrophages from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus: Relevance to in vitro impairment of interaction with iC3b-opsonized apoptotic cells

Y. Shoshan, I. Shapira, E. Toubi, I. Frolkis, M. Yaron, D. Mevorach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Impaired handling of apoptotic cells has been suggested as an important factor in the development of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and a role for complement in the removal of apoptotic cells was shown recently. We studied the in vitro function of macrophages from 40 patients with SLE and their matched controls in the removal of heterologous apoptotic cells opsonized by iC3b. Interaction index of apoptotic cells opsonized by iC3b was significantly lower in patients with SLE and averaged 71% ± 37 of that of healthy individuals (p < 0.002) and 69% ± 35 of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (p < 0.007). SLE patients had increased apoptosis of both freshly isolated monocytes (p < 0.001) and maturing macrophages (p < 0.04) that led to decreased density of monocyte-derived macrophages. Apoptosis was inhibited by adding soluble Fas receptor indicating Fas-mediated apoptosis. As demonstrated in both healthy controls and patients with SLE, decreased macrophage density by itself caused significant decreased uptake of apoptotic cells by the remaining macrophages. Maintaining normal density in SLE patients either by an increased initial density or by using soluble Fas restored the interaction capacity of the individual macrophages in the majority of patients. We concluded that impaired in vitro interaction of iC3b-opsonized apoptotic cells with macrophages from patients with SLE was mainly associated with Fas-dependent accelerated apoptosis of the monocytes/macrophages. Accelerated apoptosis of phagocytes may represent a novel in vitro mechanism of impairment of interaction with apoptotic cells that, apart from reducing the number of professional phagocytes, alters the function of the remaining macrophages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5963-5969
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Volume167
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Nov 2001
Externally publishedYes

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