Internalization of scavenger receptor ligands by cortical neurons

Matters (Zur). 2017 May 22;2017:10.19185/matters.201703000006. doi: 10.19185/matters.201703000006.


Scavenger receptors (SRs) are a family of receptors displaying affinity for a wide variety of ligands including modified lipoproteins. SRs may play a range of physiological functions including intracellular transport, lipid transport and pathogen clearance. The role of SRs has been documented in pathologies such as atherosclerosis and Alzheimer's disease. Although most studies on SRs have focused on macrophages, they are also present in other cells like endothelium, smooth muscles and brain tissue. Within brain, due to its functional similarity, SRs have been studied mostly in microglia. However, in situ images from Allen's brain atlas suggest SRs are abundant in neurons. In this study we have used two fluorophore labeled well characterized SR ligand, maleylated-BSA (MBSA) and polyguanylic acid (poloyG) to probe acute cortical slices. Our data indicate that within cortex, neurons avidly endocytose both ligands. Thus in cerebral cortex neurons may have higher number of functional SRs on the surface than other cell-types.