Prostaglandin E2-induced changes in alveolar macrophage scavenger receptor profiles differentially alter phagocytosis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus post-bone marrow transplant

J Immunol. 2013 Jun 1;190(11):5809-17. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1203274. Epub 2013 Apr 29.


The effectiveness of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation as a therapy for malignant and nonmalignant conditions is complicated by pulmonary infections. Using our syngeneic bone marrow transplant (BMT) mouse model, BMT mice with a reconstituted hematopoietic system displayed increased susceptibility to Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. BMT alveolar macrophages (AMs) exhibited a defect in P. aeruginosa phagocytosis, whereas S. aureus uptake was surprisingly enhanced. We hypothesized that the difference in phagocytosis was due to an altered scavenger receptor (SR) profile. Interestingly, MARCO expression was decreased, whereas SR-AI/II was increased. To understand how these dysregulated SR profiles might affect macrophage function, CHO cells were transfected with SR-AI/II, and phagocytosis assays revealed that SR-AI/II was important for S. aureus uptake but not for P. aeruginosa. Conversely, AMs treated in vitro with soluble MARCO exhibited similar defects in P. aeruginosa internalization as did BMT AMs. The 3'-untranslated region of SR-AI contains a putative target region for microRNA-155 (miR-155), and miR-155 expression is decreased post-BMT. Anti-miR-155-transfected AMs exhibited an increase in SR-AI/II expression and S. aureus phagocytosis. Elevated PGE2 has been implicated in driving an impaired innate immune response post-BMT. In vitro treatment of AMs with PGE2 increased SR-AI/II and decreased MARCO and miR-155. Despite a difference in phagocytic ability, BMT AMs harbor a killing defect to both P. aeruginosa and S. aureus. Thus, our data suggest that PGE2-driven alterations in SR and miR-155 expression account for the differential phagocytosis of P. aeruginosa and S. aureus, but impaired killing ultimately confers increased susceptibility to pulmonary infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation / adverse effects
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation / immunology
  • Dinoprostone / pharmacology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Macrophages, Alveolar / drug effects*
  • Macrophages, Alveolar / immunology*
  • Macrophages, Alveolar / metabolism
  • Mice
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism
  • Phagocytosis / genetics
  • Phagocytosis / immunology*
  • Pseudomonas Infections / etiology
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / immunology*
  • Receptors, Immunologic / metabolism
  • Receptors, Scavenger / genetics
  • Receptors, Scavenger / metabolism*
  • Scavenger Receptors, Class A / genetics
  • Scavenger Receptors, Class A / metabolism
  • Staphylococcal Infections / etiology
  • Staphylococcus aureus / immunology*


  • Marco protein, mouse
  • MicroRNAs
  • Mirn155 microRNA, mouse
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Receptors, Scavenger
  • Scavenger Receptors, Class A
  • Dinoprostone