First published December 1, 1985 - More info
Macrophages take up zymosan in the absence of exogenous complement via receptors for iC3b (type 3 complement receptors) acting with or without lectin-like receptors for mannosyl-fucosyl-terminated glycoconjugates. We previously provided evidence that macrophages themselves secrete complement-alternative pathway components able to opsonize zymosan locally (Ezekowitz et al., J. Exp. Med. 1984. 159:244-260). We show here that covalently bound C3 cleavage products C3b and iC3b can be eluted from zymosan particles cultivated with 36-h adherent human monocytes in the absence of serum. The ligand binding site of type 3 complement receptors is involved in macrophage-zymosan interactions as shown by inhibition studies of zymosan binding and uptake with Fab fragments of anti-C3 antibodies and monoclonal antireceptor antibodies M01 and OKM10. In contrast, antibody IB4, which binds to a receptor epitope distinct from the binding site, does not inhibit zymosan uptake. Selective modulation of macrophage receptors onto anticomplement receptor antibody and mannose-rich yeast mannan, respectively, confirms that the complement and lectin-like receptors are distinct. Human polymorphonuclear leukocytes, which express receptors for complement, but are not known to secrete complement proteins, bind and ingest only exogenously opsonized zymosan. Unopsonized zymosan is a poor trigger of respiratory burst activity in neutrophils or 7-d adherent human macrophages, but induces cell aggregation and secretion of large amounts of superoxide anion when these cells are co-cultivated in serum-free medium and challenged with zymosan. Our studies indicate that complement and/or other products synthesized by macrophages at extravascular sites could play an important role in opsonization and lysis of pathogens able to activate the alternative pathway and mediate macrophage-neutrophil collaboration in first-line host defence.