Impaired phagocytosis in caveolin-1 deficient macrophages

Jiangwei Li, Alexis Scherl, Freddy Medina, Philippe G. Frank, Richard N. Kitsis, Herbert B. Tanowitz, Federico Sotgia, Michael P. Lisanti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Caveolae are plasma membrane invaginations that function as important regulators of numerous cellular processes, including signal transduction, cholesterol trafficking, and endocytosis. Caveolin-1 (Cav-1) constitutes the main structural protein of caveolae membranes. Here, we report an in vivo increase in the number of apoptotic cells in the thymus and spleen of Cav-1 deficient mice, following whole-body γ-irradiation. We demonstrate that this increase in apoptotic cells is not due to increased apoptosis in lymphocytes per se, which normally do not express Cav-1, but rather to the decreased phagocytic clearance of apoptotic cells by macrophages, which do express Cav-1. Utilizing in vitro phagocytosis assays of both apoptotic thymocytes and Escherichia coli K-12 BioParticles, we demonstrate that the loss of Cav-1 decreases the phagocytic ability of thioglycollate-elicited peritoneal macrophages. We suggest that impaired macrophage phagocytosis in Cav-1 knockout mice could have implications for altered innate immunity against pathogens, the regulation of inflammatory responses, and the development of autoimmune disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1599-1607
Number of pages9
JournalCell Cycle
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2005


  • Apoptosis
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Caveolae
  • Caveolin-1
  • Innate immunity
  • Macrophage
  • Phagocytosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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