Essential Role of MFG-E8 for Phagocytic Properties of Microglial Cells
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CitationLiu, Yong, Xuesen Yang, Chenying Guo, Pan Nie, Yan Liu, and Jie Ma. 2013. Essential role of MFG-E8 for phagocytic properties of microglial cells. PLOS ONE 8(2): e55754.
AbstractMilk fat globule factor-E8 (MFG-E8) has been regarded as a key factor involved in the phagocytosis of apoptotic cells. We induced a lentivirus into the microglial cells for the augmentation or abrogation of MFG-E8 expression in mouse microglial cells, and investigated phagocytosis of phosphatidylserine tagged human red blood cells (hRBCs) in co-cultures. Increased MFG-E8 levels were associated with a significant increase in phagocytic activity compared to the controls. Conversely, phagocytosis dramitically decreased due to the abrogation of MFG-E8. In addition, the expression of the inflammatory cytokines, TNF-α and IL-1β, also increased or decreased in the microglial cells with the augmentation or abrogation of MFG-E8, respectively. Our findings indicate that the enhanced expression of MFG-E8 could increase phagocytosis of apoptotic cells; conversely, the rate of phagocytosis and the expression of inflammatory cytokines decreased when MFG-E8 expression was knocked down. Our results confirm that MFG-E8 plays an important role in phagocytosis, and possibly serves as an essential signal molecule for microglial cells.
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