Selective Adhesion of Macrophages to Denatured Forms of Type I Collagen is Mediated by Scavenger Receptors

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Journal/Book Title/Conference

Matrix Biology





Publication Date



Macrophages (Mφs) are multifunctional immune cells which are involved in the regulation of immune and inflammatory responses, as well as in tissue repair and remodeling. In tissues, Mφs reside in areas which are rich in extracellular matrix (ECM), the structural component which also plays an essential role in regulating a variety of cellular functions. A major ECM protein encountered by Mφs is type I collagen, the most abundant of the fibril-forming collagens. In this study, the adhesion of RAW 264.7 murine Mφs to native fibrillar, monomeric, and denatured type I collagen was investigated. Using atomic force microscopy, structural differences between fibrillar and monomeric type I collagen were clearly resolved. When cultured on fibrillar type I collagen, Mφs adhered poorly. In contrast, they adhered significantly to monomeric, heat-denatured, or collagenase-modified type I collagen. Studies utilizing anti-β1 and -β2 integrin adhesion-blocking antibodies, RGD-containing peptides, or divalent cation-free conditions did not inhibit Mφ adhesion to monomeric or denatured type I collagen. However, macrophage scavenger receptor (MSR) ligands and anti-MSR antibodies significantly blocked Mφ adhesion to denatured and monomeric type I collagen strongly suggesting the involvement of the MSR as an adhesion molecule for denatured type I collagen. Further analysis by Western blot identified the MSR as the primary receptor for denatured type I collagen among Mφ proteins purified from a heat-denatured type I collagen affinity column. These findings indicate that Mφs adhere selectively to denatured forms of type I collagen, but not the native fibrillar conformation, via their scavenger receptors.


Matrix Biol. (2000) 19, 61-71