Abstract 457: CD36, but not G2A, Modulates Efferocytosis, Inflammation and Fibrosis Following Bleomycin-induced Lung Injury
Oxidatively modified lipids and their by-products presented or released by cells undergoing apoptosis are thought to regulate phagocytic uptake of apoptotic cells by macrophages (efferocytosis) through CD36 scavenger and G2A chemotactic receptors. Although the ability of these receptors to mediate clearance of apoptotic cells in the context of atherosclerosis may have significant impact on lesion development and progression/stability, an overabundance of the lipid ligands for these receptors (CD36: oxidized phospholipids, G2A: lysophosphatidylcholine) as a result of oxidative processes associated with atherogenesis could conceivably impair these clearance mechanisms. Because the indolent nature of atherosclerotic lesion development precludes an accurate assessment of the spatial and kinetic features of lesional efferocytosis, we employed a bleomycin-induced model of lung injury to assess the requirement for G2A and CD36 in efferocytosis. This is a model which, similarly to atherogenesis, is associated with oxidative stress, but in which local apoptosis can be induced and efferocytosis subsequently measured over time. As there is substantial in vivo evidence that ApoE has a role in efferocytosis, we included ApoE knock-out mice as controls. Loss of CD36 (similarly to ApoE deficiency) delayed the clearance of apoptotic alveolar cells, potentiated inflammation (increase in lung neutrophils, lung KC [CXCL1] levels, and lung macrophages) and reduced lung fibrosis following bleomycin-induced lung injury. Reduced fibrosis in CD36-/- mice was associated with lower levels of pro-fibrotic TH2 cytokines (IL-9, IL-13, IL-4), decreased expression of the M2 macrophage marker Arginase-1 and reduced interstitial myofibroblasts. Despite the widely held notion that G2A mediates an LPC dependent “find me” signal in macrophages facilitating apoptotic cell clearance, G2A deficiency had no significant effect on the clearance of apoptotic cells in the bleomycin-induced lung injury model. Our results show that CD36 and ApoE (but not G2A) are important for apoptotic cell clearance following lung injury and subsequently modulate inflammatory and fibrotic processes that could impact not only inflammatory lung disease but also atherosclerosis.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.