Although both Fcα/μ receptor (Fcα/μR) and polymeric Ig receptor (poly-IgR) are Fc receptors for IgA and IgM and are functionally and genetically related, the expression profile of Fcα/μR is unique. Unlike poly-IgR, Fcα/μR is expressed on marginal zone (MZ) B cells and follicular dendritic cells, suggesting that Fcα/μR plays an important role in humoral immune responses. Fcα/μR mediates endocytosis of the IgM immune complex (IC). Recent research demonstrated that Fcα/μR downregulated retention of the IgM IC with a T-independent (TI) antigen on MZ B cells and follicular dendritic cells due to endocytosis of the IgM IC, suppressing germinal center formation, affinity maturation, and memory B-cell generation in response to TI antigen challenge. In addition, Fcα/μR physically associates with Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and augments TLR4 oligomerization and signaling in MZ B cells upon lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge, leading to increased proinflammatory cytokine production by MZ B cells. Thus, Fcα/μR is a unique Fc receptor that is involved in humoral immune responses and inflammation.
Keywords: Fc receptor; Fcα/μ receptor; IgA; IgM; follicular dendritic cells; marginal zone B cells.
© 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.