Regulation of CD 163 on human macrophages: cross-linking of CD163 induces signaling and activation

J Leukoc Biol. 1999 Nov;66(5):858-66. doi: 10.1002/jlb.66.5.858.


CD163 is a member of the group B scavenger receptor cysteine-rich (SRCR) superfamily. This study describes aspects of the tissue distribution, the regulation of expression, and signal transduction after cross-linking of this receptor at the cell surface of macrophages. CD163 showed an exclusive expression on resident macrophages (e.g., red pulp macrophages, alveolar macrophages). The expression was inducible on monocyte-derived macrophages by glucocorticoids but not by interleukin-4 (IL-4), granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), and interferon-gamma. The combination of IL-4 or GM-CSF with glucocorticoids resulted in a further increase. Subcellular analysis of alveolar macrophages by immunoelectron microscopy showed a plasma membrane localization of the antigen. Cross-linking of CD163 with monoclonal antibody induced a protein tyrosine kinase-dependent signal that resulted in (1) slow-type calcium mobilization, (2) inositol triphosphate production, and (3) secretion of IL-6 and GM-CSF. The data suggest a function for the SRCR-superfamily receptor CD163 in the regulation of inflammatory processes by macrophages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD*
  • Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic / genetics
  • Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic / metabolism*
  • Cross-Linking Reagents
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Intracellular Fluid
  • Macrophage Activation*
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Macrophages / metabolism*
  • Macrophages, Alveolar / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Receptors, Cell Surface*
  • Receptors, Immunologic / genetics
  • Receptors, Immunologic / metabolism
  • Receptors, Scavenger
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Subcellular Fractions / metabolism
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Transfection
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • U937 Cells


  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic
  • CD163 antigen
  • Cross-Linking Reagents
  • Cytokines
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Receptors, Scavenger