ALI (acute lung injury) and its more severe form ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) are inflammatory diseases of the lung characterized by hypoxaemia and diffuse bilateral infiltrates. Disruption of epithelial integrity and injury to endothelium are contributing factors of the development of ALI/ARDS, and alveolar damage is the most pronounced feature of ALI/ARDS. The resulting increase in lung microvascular permeability promotes influx of inflammatory cells to the alveolar spaces. Oedema fluid contains pro-nflammatory mediators and plasma proteins, including Igs (immunoglobulins). Moreover, several reports describe the presence of autoantibodies and immune complexes [anti-IL-8 (interleukin-8) autoantibody/IL-8 complexes] in lung fluids (oedema and bronchoalveolar lavage fluids) from patients with ALI/ARDS. These immune complexes associate with FcγRIIa (Fcγ IIa receptor) in lungs of patients with ARDS. Furthermore, the expression of FcγRIIa is substantially elevated in lungs of these patients. FcγRIIa appears on virtually all myeloid cells, platelets and endothelial cells. It is a low-affinity receptor for IgG that preferentially binds aggregated immunoglobulins and immune complexes. FcγRs regulate phagocytosis and cell-mediated cytotoxicity, and initiate the release of inflammatory mediators. It should be noted that immune complexes formed between either anti-neutrophil autoantibodies and their specific antigens or anti-HLA (human leucocyte antigen) antibodies and target antigens are implicated in the pathogenesis of TRALI (transfusion-related acute lung injury), and importantly, animal studies indicate that FcγRs are essential for these complexes to cause damage to the lungs. Therefore, we hypothesize that FcγRs such as FcγRIIa could contribute to the pathogenesis of ALI/ARDS.
Keywords: acute lung injury, FcγRIIa, IgG receptor, lung, signal transduction
Abbreviations: ALI, acute lung injury; ARDS, acute respiratory distress syndrome; FcγR, Fcγ receptor; IL, interleukin; ITAM, immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif; ITIM, immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motif; KC, keratinocyte-derived chemokine; LIX, lipopolysaccharide-induced CXC chemokine; LPS, lipopolysaccharide; MIP-2, macrophage inflammatory protein 2; TLR4, Toll-like receptor 4; TRALI, transfusion-related acute lung injury