The Orphan Immune Receptor LILRB3 Modulates Fc Receptor-Mediated Functions of Neutrophils

J Immunol. 2020 Feb 15;204(4):954-966. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1900852. Epub 2020 Jan 8.


Neutrophils are critical to the generation of effective immune responses and for killing invading microbes. Paired immune receptors provide important mechanisms to modulate neutrophil activation thresholds and effector functions. Expression of the leukocyte Ig-like receptor (LILR)A6 (ILT8/CD85b) and LILRB3 (ILT5/CD85a) paired-receptor system on human neutrophils has remained unclear because of the lack of specific molecular tools. Additionally, there is little known of their possible functions in neutrophil biology. The objective of this study was to characterize expression of LILRA6/LILRB3 receptors during human neutrophil differentiation and activation, and to assess their roles in modulating Fc receptor-mediated effector functions. LILRB3, but not LILRA6, was detected in human neutrophil lysates following immunoprecipitation by mass spectrometry. We demonstrate high LILRB3 expression on the surface of resting neutrophils and release from the surface following neutrophil activation. Surface expression was recapitulated in a human PLB-985 cell model of neutrophil-like differentiation. Continuous ligation of LILRB3 inhibited key IgA-mediated effector functions, including production of reactive oxygen species, phagocytic uptake, and microbial killing. This suggests that LILRB3 provides an important checkpoint to control human neutrophil activation and their antimicrobial effector functions during resting and early-activation stages of the neutrophil life cycle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, CD / genetics
  • Antigens, CD / isolation & purification
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism*
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology
  • Cell Line
  • Down-Regulation / immunology
  • Humans
  • Neutrophil Activation
  • Neutrophils / immunology*
  • Neutrophils / metabolism
  • Phagocytosis
  • Primary Cell Culture
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Receptors, Fc / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Immunologic / genetics
  • Receptors, Immunologic / isolation & purification
  • Receptors, Immunologic / metabolism*
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Staphylococcal Infections / immunology*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Staphylococcus capitis / immunology


  • Antigens, CD
  • LILRA6 protein, human
  • LILRB3 protein, human
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Receptors, Fc
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Recombinant Proteins