BackgroundMannan-binding lectin (MBL) is a pattern-recognition molecule present in serum, which is involved in the innate immune defense by activating complement and promoting opsonophagocytosis. Dendritic cells (DCs) are professional antigen presenting cells (APCs) that are crucial for the initiation of adaptive immunity. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) has been shown to be a strong activator of the inflammatory response and immune regulation. We first examined whether MBL modulated LPS-induced cellular responses, then investigated possible mechanisms of its inhibitory effect.
ResultsMBL at higher concentrations (10-20 ?g/ml) significantly attenuated LPS-induced maturation of monocyte-derived DCs (MDCs) and production of proinflammatory cytokines (e.g., IL-12 and TNF-?), and inhibited their ability to activate allogeneic T lymphocytes. It bound to immature MDCs at physiological calcium concentrations, and was optimal at supraphysiological calcium concentrations. MBL also bound directly to immature MDCs and attenuated the binding of LPS to the cell surfaces, resulting in decreased LPS-induced nuclear factor-?B (NF-?B) activity in these cells.
ConclusionAll these data suggest that MBL could affect the functions of DCs by modifying LPS-induced cellular responses. This study supports an important role for MBL in the regulation of adaptive immune responses and inflammatory responses.