Objective Lipocalin 2 (LCN-2) is an innate immune protein that is expressed by a variety of cells and is highly up-regulated during several pathologic conditions, including immune complex (IC)-mediated inflammatory/autoimmune disorders. However, the function of LCN-2 during IC-mediated inflammation is largely unknown. Therefore, this study was undertaken to investigate the role of LCN-2 in IC-mediated diseases. Methods The up-regulation of LCN-2 was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in 3 different mouse models of IC-mediated autoimmune disease: systemic lupus erythematosus, collagen-induced arthritis, and serum-transfer arthritis. The in vivo role of LCN-2 during IC-mediated inflammation was investigated using LCN-2-knockout mice and their wild-type littermates. Results LCN-2 levels were significantly elevated in all 3 of the autoimmune disease models. Further, in an acute skin inflammation model, LCN-2-knockout mice exhibited a 50% reduction in inflammation, with histopathologic analysis revealing notably reduced immune cell infiltration as compared to wild-type mice. Administration of recombinant LCN-2 to LCN-2-knockout mice restored inflammation to levels observed in wild-type mice. Neutralization of LCN-2 using a monoclonal antibody significantly reduced inflammation in wild-type mice. In contrast, LCN-2-knockout mice developed more severe serum-induced arthritis compared to wild-type mice. Histologic analysis revealed extensive tissue and bone destruction, with significantly reduced neutrophil infiltration but considerably more macrophage migration, in LCN-2-knockout mice compared to wild-type mice. Conclusion These results demonstrate that LCN-2 may regulate immune cell recruitment to the site of inflammation, a process essential for the controlled initiation, perpetuation, and resolution of inflammatory processes. Thus, LCN-2 may present a promising target in the treatment of IC-mediated inflammatory/autoimmune diseases.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pharmacology (medical)