Human Monocytes - CD14, CD16 - Ziegler-Heitbrock


The intracellular Granzyme B inhibitor, proteinase inhibitor 9, is up-regulated during accessory cell maturation and effector cell degranulation, and its overexpression enhances CTL potency


Granzyme B (grB) is a serine proteinase released by cytotoxic lymphocytes (CLs) to kill abnormal cells. GrB-mediated apoptotic pathways are conserved in nucleated cells; hence, CLs require mechanisms to protect against ectopic or misdirected grB. The nucleocytoplasmic serpin, proteinase inhibitor 9 (PI-9), is a potent inhibitor of grB that protects cells from grB-mediated apoptosis in model systems. Here we show that PI-9 is present in CD4(+) cells, CD8(+) T cells, NK cells, and at lower levels in B cells and myeloid cells. PI-9 is up-regulated in response to grB production and degranulation, and associates with grB-containing granules in activated CTLs and NK cells. Intracellular complexes of PI-9 and grB are evident in NK cells, and overexpression of PI-9 enhances CTL potency, suggesting that cytoplasmic grB, which may threaten CL viability, is rapidly inactivated by PI-9. Because dendritic cells (DCs) acquire characteristics similar to those of target cells to activate naive CD8(+) T cells and therefore may also require protection against grB, we investigated the expression of PI-9 in DCs. PI-9 is evident in thymic DCs (CD3(-), CD4(+), CD8(-), CD45(+)), tonsillar DCs, and DC subsets purified from peripheral blood (CD16(+) monocytes and CD123(+) plasmacytoid DCs). Furthermore, PI-9 is expressed in monocyte-derived DCs and is up-regulated upon TNF-alpha-induced maturation of monocyte-derived DCs. In conclusion, the presence and subcellular localization of PI-9 in leukocytes and DCs are consistent with a protective role against ectopic or misdirected grB during an immune response.

Authors: Hirst CE, Buzza MS, Bird CH, Warren HS, Cameron PU, Zhang M, Ashton-Rickardt PG, Bird PI
Journal: J Immunol 170: 805-815
Year: 2003
PubMed: Find in PubMed