Although macrophages (Mφ) and monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MDDC) come from a common precursor, they are distinct cell types. This report compares the two cell types with respect to the metabolism of platelet-activating factor (PAF), a biologically active lipid mediator. These experiments were prompted by our studies of localized juvenile periodontitis, a disease associated with high IgG2 production and a propensity of monocytes to differentiate into MDDC. As the IgG2 Ab response is dependent on PAF, and MDDC selectively induce IgG2 production, we predicted that PAF levels would be higher in MDDC than in Mφ. To test this hypothesis, human MDDC were prepared by treating adherent monocytes with IL-4 and GM-CSF, and Mφ were produced by culture in M-CSF. Both Mφ and MDDC synthesized PAF; however, MDDC accumulated significantly more of this lipid. We considered the possibility that PAF accumulation in MDDC might result from reduced turnover due to lower levels of PAF acetylhydrolase (PAFAH), the enzyme that catabolizes PAF. Although PAFAH increased when monocytes differentiated into either cell type, MDDC contained significantly less PAFAH than did Mφ and secreted almost no PAFAH activity. The reduced levels of PAFAH in MDDC could be attributed to lower levels of expression of the enzyme in MDDC and allowed these cells to produce PGE2 in response to exogenous PAF. In contrast, Mφ did not respond in this manner. Together, these data indicate that PAF metabolism may impinge on regulation of the immune response by regulating the accessory activity of MDDC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy