Scandinavian Journal of Immunology vol:55 issue:4 pages:352-8
Haptoglobin (Hp) is an acute phase reactant produced by hepatocytes. There is evidence for an immunomodulatory potential of Hp, though there is no clear evidence yet about the mechanisms of this action. We have previously shown that Hp interacts with the beta2-integrin CD11b/CD18. In addition, other investigators reported the binding of Hp to B lymphocytes through the CD22 receptor, and to neutrophils through two different receptors. In the present study, we investigated the interaction of haptoglobin with the human mast cell line HMC-1. We report that fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-labelled haptoglobin binds to this cell line and that binding is increased by calcium in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Hp binding sites on HMC-1 were upregulated upon stimulation with phorbol myristate acetate (PMA)/A23187 and after treatment with anti-CD43 and anti-CD44 monoclonal antibodies (MoAbs). HMC-1 cells do not express either CD11b/CD18 or CD22 receptors, indicating that the haptoglobin-binding receptor on this cell line is different from the known receptors. Assessment of cell function showed that Hp inhibits the spontaneous growth of HMC-1 up till 40% at higher Hp concentrations, but it did not exhibit any effect on the expression of CD54 on the release of either tryptase or IL-1ra. In conclusion, haptoglobin binds specifically to human mast cells via a receptor different from CD11b/CD18 and CD22, and may play a role in the modulation of mast cell functions. Exploration of Hp effects in mast cell-dependent diseases such as allergic rhinitis and urticaria seems warranted.