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School of Pharmacy


Pharmaceutical Sciences


CD163 is a scavenger receptor expressed on innate immune cell populations which can be shed from the plasma membrane via the metalloprotease ADAM17 to generate a soluble peptide with lympho-inhibitory properties. The purpose of this study was to investigate CD163 as a possible effector of stroke-induced adaptive immune system suppression. Liquid biopsies were collected from ischemic stroke patients (n = 39), neurologically asymptomatic controls (n = 20), and stroke mimics (n = 20) within 24 hours of symptom onset. Peripheral blood ADAM17 activity and soluble CD163 levels were elevated in stroke patients relative to non-stroke control groups, and negatively associated with post-stroke lymphocyte counts. Subsequent in vitro experiments suggested that this stroke-induced elevation in circulating soluble CD163 likely originates from activated monocytic cells, as serum from stroke patients stimulated ADAM17-dependant CD163 shedding from healthy donor-derived monocytes. Additional in vitro experiments demonstrated that stroke-induced elevations in circulating soluble CD163 can elicit direct suppressive effects on the adaptive immune system, as serum from stroke patients inhibited the proliferation of healthy donor-derived lymphocytes, an effect which was attenuated following serum CD163 depletion. Collectively, these observations provide novel evidence that the innate immune system employs protective mechanisms aimed at mitigating the risk of post-stroke autoimmune complications driven by adaptive immune system overactivation, and that CD163 is key mediator of this phenomenon.

Source Citation

O’Connell, G.C., Tennant, C.S., Lucke-Wold, N. et al. Monocyte-lymphocyte cross-communication via soluble CD163 directly links innate immune system activation and adaptive immune system suppression following ischemic stroke. Sci Rep 7, 12940 (2017).



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