Background/Aims: During the resolution phase of inflammation, release of 'find-me' signals by apoptotic cells is crucial in the chemoattraction of macrophages toward apoptotic cells for subsequent phagocytosis, in which microparticles derived from apoptotic cells (apo-MPs) are involved. A recent study reports that CX3CL1 is released from apoptotic cells to stimulate macrophages chemotaxis. In this study, we investigated the role of CX3CL1 in the apo-MPs in the cell-cell interaction between alveolar macrophage NR8383 cells and apoptotic all-trans retinoic acid-treated NB4 (ATRA-NB4) cells. Methods/Results: Apoptotic ATRA-NB4 cells and their conditioning medium (CM) enhanced the chemoattraction of NR8383 cells as well as their phagocytosis activity in engulfing apoptotic ATRA-NB4 cells. The levels of CX3CL1(+) apo-MPs and CX3CL1 were rapidly elevated in the CM of ATRA-NB4 cell culture after induction of apoptosis. Both exogenous CX3CL1 and apo-MPs enhanced the transmigration of NR8383 cells toward apoptotic ATRA-NB4 cells. This pro-transmigratory activity was able to be partially inhibited either by blocking the CX3CR1 (CX3CL1 receptor) of NR8383 cells with its specific antibody or by blocking the surface CX3CL1 of apo-MPs with its specific antibody before incubating these apo-MPs with NR8383 cells. Conclusion: CX3CL1(+) apo-MPs released by apoptotic cells mediate the chemotactic transmigration of alveolar macrophages.
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