Author(s): Martnez D, Vermeulen M, von Euw E, Sabatt J, Maggni J,
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Abstract Although the development of an acidic tissue environment or acidosis is a hallmark of inflammatory processes, few studies analyze the effect of extracellular pH on immune cells. We have previously shown that exposure of murine dendritic cells (DCs) to pH 6.5 stimulates macropinocytosis and cross-presentation of extracellular Ags by MHC class I molecules. We report that the transient exposure of human DCs to pH 6.5 markedly increases the expression of HLA-DR, CD40, CD80, CD86, CD83, and CCR7 and improves the T cell priming ability of DCs. Incubation of DCs at pH 6.5 results in the activation of the PI3K/Akt and the MAPK pathways. Using specific inhibitors, we show that the maturation of DCs induced by acidosis was strictly dependent on the activation of p38 MAPK. DC exposure to pH 6.5 also induces a dramatic increase in their production of IL-12, stimulating the synthesis of IFN-gamma, but not IL-4, by Ag-specific CD4(+) T cells. Interestingly, we find that suboptimal doses of LPS abrogated the ability of pH 6.5 to induce DC maturation, suggesting a cross-talk between the activation pathways triggered by LPS and extracellular protons in DCs. We conclude that extracellular acidosis in peripheral tissues may contribute to the initiation of adaptive immune responses by DCs, favoring the development of Th1 immunity.
This article was published in J Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Cell Science & Therapy