Effect of interferon-gamma and human alpha 2-macroglobulin on peritoneal macrophage morphology and Ia antigen expression.
While the primary role of the plasma protein alpha 2-macroglobulin (alpha 2M) appears to be related to its proteinase inhibitory activity, alpha 2M has been reported to regulate the immune response in vitro. Previous studies have demonstrated that, although native alpha 2M has no effect on macrophage function, proteinase- or CH3NH2-treated alpha 2M antagonize the IFN-gamma-induced expression of class II major histocompatibility complex (Ia) antigens on mouse peritoneal macrophages. In this investigation, we examined the effects of alpha 2M-CH3NH2 on the IFN-gamma-induced expression of macrophage Ia antigens by indirect immunofluorescence microscopy, radioimmunoassay, and immunoprecipitation of biosynthetically-labelled Ia. While alpha 2M-CH3NH2 suppressed the IFN-gamma induced increase in the percentage of Ia-positive macrophages detected by immunofluorescence microscopy, alpha 2M-CH3NH2 had no effect on the average of number of Ia molecules expressed per cell as detected by radioimmunoassay. In addition, alpha 2M-CH3NH2 had no effect on the ability of IFN-gamma to induce biosynthesis of Ia. Microscopic examination of IFN-gamma-treated macrophages revealed that treatment with alpha 2M-CH3NH2 prevented IFN-gamma-induced changes in macrophage morphology. IFN-gamma-treatment of elongated inflammatory macrophages was associated with the generation of round cells which possessed few cytoplasmic projections. By contrast, addition of alpha 2M-CH3NH2 to the incubation prevented the IFN-gamma-induced morphological changes, and the cells remained elongated with irregular cytoplasmic borders. We postulate that alpha 2M-CH3NH2 decreases the IFN-gamma-induced expression of Ia by preventing morphological changes in macrophages, resulting in the distribution of existing Ia over a larger surface area. As a consequence of this, the perceived fluorescence intensity of the bound antibody is lowered and the cells appear to be Ia-negative.
Roche, PA; Hoffman, MR; Pizzo, SV
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