Differential macrophage activation alters the expression profile of NTPDase and Ecto-5′-nucleotidase

Rafael Fernandes Zanin, Elizandra Braganhol, Letícia Scussel Bergamin, Luís Felipe Ingrassia Campesato, Alfeu Zanotto Filho, José Cláudio Fonseca Moreira, Fernanda Bueno Morrone, Jean Sévigny, Maria Rosa Chitolina Schetinger, Angela Terezinha de Souza Wyse, Ana Maria Oliveira Battastini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Macrophages are key elements in the inflammatory process, whereas depending on the micro-environmental stimulation they exhibit a pro-inflammatory (classical/M1) or an anti-inflammatory/reparatory (alternative/M2) phenotype. Extracellular ATP can act as a danger signal whereas adenosine generally serves as a negative feedback mechanism to limit inflammation. The local increase in nucleotides communication is controlled by ectonucleotidases, such as members of the ectonucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase (E-NTPDase) family and ecto-5′-nucleotidase/CD73 (ecto-5′-NT). In the present work we evaluated the presence of these enzymes in resident mice M1 (macrophages stimulated with LPS), and M2 (macrophages stimulated with IL-4) macrophages. Macrophages were collected by a lavage of the mice (6-8 weeks) peritoneal cavity and treated for 24 h with IL-4 (10 ng/mL) or LPS (10 ng/mL). Nitrite concentrations were measured using the Greiss reaction. Supernatants were harvested to determine cytokines and the ATPase, ADPase and AMPase activities were determined by the malachite green method and HPLC analysis. The expression of selected surface proteins was evaluated by flow cytometry. The results reveal that M1 macrophages presented a decreased ATP and AMP hydrolysis in agreement with a decrease in NTPDase1, -3 and ecto-5′-nucleotidase expression compared to M2. In contrast, M2 macrophages showed a higher ATP and AMP hydrolysis and increased NTPDase1, -3 and ecto-5′-nucleotidase expression compared to M1 macrophages. Therefore, macrophages of the M1 phenotype lead to an accumulation of ATP while macrophages of the M2 phenotype may rapidly convert ATP to adenosine. The results also showed that P1 and P2 purinoreceptors present the same mRNA profile in both phenotypes. In addition, M2 macrophages, which have a higher ATPase activity, were less sensitive to cell death. In conclusion, these changes in ectoenzyme activities might allow macrophages to adjust the outcome of the extracellular purinergic cascade in order to fine-tune their functions during the inflammatory set.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere31205
JournalPLoS One
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 13 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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