CD169, a specific marker for macrophages, is a member of the sialic acid-binding immunoglobulin-like lectin (Siglec) family which acts as an adhesion molecule implicated in cell–cell interaction via sialylated glycoconjugates. Although CD169+ macrophages have been found to participate in erythroblastic island (EBI) formation and support erythropoiesis under homeostasis and stress, the exact role of CD169 and its counter receptor in EBIs remains unknown. Herein, we generated CD169-CreERT knock-in mice and investigated the function of CD169 in EBI formation and erythropoiesis using CD169-null mice. EBI formation was impaired in vitro by both blockade of CD169 using anti-CD169 antibody and deletion of CD169 on macrophages. Furthermore, CD43 expressed by early erythroblasts (EBs) was identified as the counter receptor for CD169 in mediating the EBI formation via surface plasmon resonance and imaging flow cytometry. Interestingly, CD43 was proven to be a novel indicator of erythroid differentiation due to the progressive decrease of CD43 expression as EB mature. Although CD169-null mice did not display defects in bone marrow (BM) EBI formation in vivo, CD169 deficiency impeded BM erythroid differentiation probably via CD43 under stress erythropoiesis, in concert with the role of CD169 recombinant protein in hemin-induced K562 erythroid differentiation. These findings have shed light on the role of CD169 in EBIs under steady and stress erythropoiesis through binding with its counter receptor CD43, suggesting that CD169-CD43 interaction might be a promising therapeutic target for erythroid disorders.
Figures & Tables
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.