Author(s): Lopes RL, Borges TJ, Arajo JF, Pinho NG, Bergamin LS,
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Abstract Macrophages are myeloid cells that play an essential role in inflammation and host defense, regulating immune responses and maintaining tissue homeostasis. Depending on the microenvironment, macrophages can polarize to two distinct phenotypes. The M1 phenotype is activated by IFN-γ and bacterial products, and displays an inflammatory profile, while M2 macrophages are activated by IL-4 and tend to be anti-inflammatory or immunosupressive. It was observed that DnaK from Mycobacterium tuberculosis has immunosuppressive properties, inducing a tolerogenic phenotype in dendritic cells and MDSCs, contributing to graft acceptance and tumor growth. However, its role in macrophage polarization remains to be elucidated. We asked whether DnaK was able to modulate macrophage phenotype. Murine macrophages, derived from bone marrow, or from the peritoneum, were incubated with DnaK and their phenotype compared to M1 or M2 polarized macrophages. Treatment with DnaK leads macrophages to present higher arginase I activity, IL-10 production and FIZZ1 and Ym1 expression. Furthermore, DnaK increased surface levels of CD206. Importantly, DnaK-treated macrophages were able to promote tumor growth in an allogeneic melanoma model. Our results suggest that DnaK polarizes macrophages to the M2-like phenotype and could constitute a virulence factor and is an important immunomodulator of macrophage responses.
This article was published in PLoS One
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology