The role of calcium and calcium-regulated proteins in neutrophil phagocytosis

University dissertation from Linköping : Linköpings universitet

Abstract: Neutrophil phagocytosis is an essential component of the innate immunity against invading pathogens. The two types of phagocytosis that are investigated in detail are IgG- and C3bi-mediated phagocytosis. Although the two types are controlled differently, they share the same driving force - reorganisation of the actin cytoskeleton. Subcellular elevations of intracellular free calcium concentration ([Ca2+]1), are critical for this kind of functional response within the neutrophils.The aim of this study was to try to understand how calcium and certain calciumregulated proteins control phagocytosis in neutrophils, especially the remodelling of the actin cytoskeleton during pseudopod fonnation and the regulation of phagolysosome fusion.By immunofluorescence staining (IF) and confocal microscopy, we analysed the distribution of Ca2+ stores using antibodies against Sarcoplasmic/Endoplasmic Reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA2) and calreticulin, during phagocytosis. The results showed a distinct accumulation of Ca2+ stores around phagosomes and pseudopods. This accumulation is coherent with a local Ca2+ rise seen in the area of phagocytosis and provides a model for how this localised [Ca2+]i is regulated in neutrophils. To further investigate if inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3)-sensitive Ca2+ stores are involved, we analysed the subcellular distribution of IP3-receptors (IP3Rs), which are located on the ci+ stores. The IP3Rs translocated in a similar manner as did SERCA2 and calreticulin, indicating that the IP3-sensitive Ca2+ stores are involved.During phagocytosis, an accumulation of phospholipid- and calcium-binding proteins, annexins, can be seen in the periphagosomal area. Several studies have demonstrated that certain annexins promote Ca2+-dependent contact between phospholipid vesicles and/or isolated neutrophil-specific granule membranes. This suggests that annexins, apart from being involved in vesicle aggregation and fusion, participate together with filamentous actin (F-actin) in phagolysosome formation, by establishing a connection between the phagosomal membrane and granule membranes prior to fusion. A prerequisite for phagolysosome fusion is the elimination of F-actin around the phagosomes to facilitate the membrane contact between lysosomes and phagosomes. We have, therefore, investigated the role of gelsolin, which is a protein that severs Factin by binding to the barbed ends, and thereby inhibits further polymerisation. The results show that both annexin I and Ill, and gelsolin translocates to the area of phagocytosis, in a Ca2+ -independent manner, where they eo-localise with F-actin.

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