Marginal zone macrophages express a murine homologue of DC-SIGN that captures blood-borne antigens in vivo

Teunis B H Geijtenbeek, Peter C Groot, Martijn A Nolte, Sandra J van Vliet, Shanti T Gangaram-Panday, Gerard C F van Duijnhoven, Georg Kraal, Antoon J M van Oosterhout, Yvette van Kooyk

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156 Citations (Scopus)


Antigen-presenting cells are localized in essentially every tissue, where they operate at the interface of innate and acquired immunity by capturing pathogens and presenting pathogen-derived peptides to T cells. C-type lectins are important pathogen recognition receptors and the C-type lectin, dendritic cell-specific intercellular adhesion molecule 3-grabbing nonintegrin (DC-SIGN), is unique in that, in addition to pathogen capture, it regulates adhesion processes such as DC trafficking and T-cell synapse formation. We have isolated a murine homologue of DC-SIGN that is identical to the previously reported murine homologue mSIGNR1. mSIGNR1 is more closely related to the human DC-SIGN homologue L-SIGN than to DC-SIGN itself because mSIGNR1 is specifically expressed by liver sinusoidal endothelial cells, similar to L-SIGN, and not by DCs. Moreover, mSIGNR1 is also expressed by medullary and subcapsular macrophages in lymph nodes and by marginal zone macrophages (MZMs) in the spleen. Strikingly, these MZMs are in direct contact with the bloodstream and efficiently capture specific polysaccharide antigens present on the surface of encapsulated bacteria. We have investigated the in vivo function of mSIGNR1 on MZMs in spleen. We demonstrate here that mSIGNR1 functions in vivo as a pathogen recognition receptor on MZMs that capture blood-borne antigens, which are rapidly internalized and targeted to lysosomes for processing. Moreover, the antigen capture is completely blocked in vivo by the blocking mSIGNR1-specific antibodies. Thus, mSIGNR1, a murine homologue of DC-SIGN, is important in the defense against pathogens and this study will facilitate further investigations into the in vivo function of DC-SIGN and its homologues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2908-16
Number of pages9
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2002


  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD/genetics
  • Antigens/blood
  • Base Sequence
  • Bone Marrow Cells/cytology
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules/genetics
  • Cell Adhesion/immunology
  • DNA Primers
  • Dendritic Cells/immunology
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Humans
  • Lectins, C-Type/genetics
  • Macrophages/immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Receptors, Cell Surface/genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins/immunology
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Species Specificity

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