Regulation of macrophage scavenger receptor (MSR) activity may be an important determinant of the extent of atherogenesis. The effect of macrophage-colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) on this pathway was studied using a recently developed monoclonal antibody to murine MSR. M-CSF markedly and selectively increased MSR synthesis in murine macrophages: posttranslationally, the receptor appeared more stable and shifted to a predominantly surface distribution. Functionally, M-CSF enhanced modified lipoprotein uptake and increased divalent cation-independent adhesion in vitro. These results suggest a plausible mechanism whereby M-CSF production in the atheromatous plaque microenvironment could promote the recruitment and retention of mononuclear phagocytes and subsequent foam cell formation.

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