CD11b/CD18 (Mac-1) Is a Novel Surface Receptor for Extracellular Double-Stranded RNA To Mediate Cellular Inflammatory Responses.

Zhou H, Liao J, Aloor J, Nie H, Wilson BC, Fessler MB, Gao HM, Hong JS.

J Immunol. 2013 Jan 1; 190(1):115-25

During viral infection, extracellular dsRNA is a potent signaling molecule that activates many innate immune cells, including macrophages. TLR3 is a well-known receptor for extracellular dsRNA, and internalization of extracellular dsRNA is required for endosomal TLR3 activation. Preserved inflammatory responses of TLR3-deficient macrophages to extracellular dsRNA strongly support a TLR3-independent mechanism in dsRNA-mediated immune responses. The present study demonstrated that CD11b/CD18 (Mac-1 [macrophage-1 Ag]), a surface integrin receptor, recognized extracellular dsRNA and induced macrophage immune responses. CD11b deficiency reduced inflammatory cytokine induction elicited by polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (poly I:C; a synthetic dsRNA) in mouse sera and livers, as well as in cultured peritoneal macrophages. dsRNA-binding assay and confocal immunofluorescence showed that Mac-1, especially the CD11b subunit, interacted and colocalized with poly I:C on the surface of macrophages. Further mechanistic studies revealed two distinct signaling events following dsRNA recognition by Mac-1. First, Mac-1 facilitated poly I:C internalization through the activation of PI3K signaling and enhanced TLR3-dependent activation of IRF3 in macrophages. Second, poly I:C induced activation of phagocyte NADPH oxidase in a TLR3-independent, but Mac-1-dependent, manner. Subsequently, phagocyte NADPH oxidase-derived intracellular reactive oxygen species activated MAPK and NF-κB pathways. Our results indicate that extracellular dsRNA activates Mac-1 to enhance TLR3-dependent signaling and to trigger TLR3-independent, but Mac-1-dependent, inflammatory oxidative signaling, identifying a novel mechanistic basis for macrophages to recognize extracellular dsRNA to regulate innate immune responses. This study identifies Mac-1 as a novel surface receptor for extracellular dsRNA and implicates it as a potential therapeutic target for virus-related inflammatory diseases.