In this paper, we report previously unknown roles for collectin-11 (CL-11, a soluble C-type lectin) in modulating the retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cell functions of phagocytosis and cytokine production. We found that CL-11 and its carbohydrate ligand are expressed in both the murine and human neural retina; these resemble each other in terms of RPE and photoreceptor cells. Functional analysis of murine RPE cells showed that CL-11 facilitates the opsonophagocytosis of photoreceptor outer segments and apoptotic cells, and also upregulates IL-10 production. Mechanistic analysis revealed that calreticulin on the RPE cells is required for CL-11-mediated opsonophagocytosis whereas signal-regulatory protein α and mannosyl residues on the cells are involved in the CL-11-mediated upregulation of IL-10 production. This study is the first to demonstrate the role of CL-11 and the molecular mechanisms involved in modulating RPE cell phagocytosis and cytokine production. It provides a new insight into retinal health and disease and has implications for other phagocytic cells.
- Journal Article