Phenotypic heterogeneity of spleen macrophages in the rat - In vivo study

Jr Smetana K., P. Zach, Fu-Tong Liu, M. Burchert, H. J. Gabius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Macrophages occupy two main zones (red pulp, marginal zone) in the rat spleen. We comparatively characterized the macrophages in these areas employing a panel of antibodies (ED1: CD68, ED2: 175/160/95 kD membrane proteins, ED3: sialoadhesin, A1D6: galectin-3), a biotinylated conjugate of N-acetylneuraminic acid with bovine serum albumin and biotinylated asialofetuin (Beta-D-galactoside specificity) for endogenous sugar receptors in conventional Wistar rats and originally SPF Wistar rats subsequently transferred to the conventional condition. The macrophages present in the red pulp were positive for ED1, ED2 and binding sites for N-acetylneuraminic acid, the asialoglycoprotein and galectin-3. Macrophages from the marginal zone were positive for ED3, glycoligands for galectin-3 and they expressed galectin-3 (A1D6) occasionally. Because of the dependence of the binding of asialofetuin to the red pulp macrophages on the presence of Ca2+ ions and the absence of the signal from the reaction with A1D6 antibody (galectin-3), the Beta-D-galactoside-recognizing sites can be considered to belong to the C-type lectin family. The originally SPF and conventional rats harbor a similar number of ED1+ and ED2+ macrophages in the spleen. However, the originally SPF animals were characterized by a lower number of macrophages exhibiting binding sites for the asialoglycoprotein than the control group and no positivity for the conjugate of N-acetylneuraminic acid with bovine serum albumin. These phenotypic results indicate the functional heterogeneity of the subpopulations of macrophages in the the rat spleen which can be associated with presently unknown factors of the breeding conditions on spleen macrophages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-30
Number of pages8
JournalElectronic Journal of Pathology and Histology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • C-type lectin
  • Phenotype
  • Spleeny macrophages
  • Wister rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology


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