The contribution of dyslipidemia and inflammation in atherosclerosis is well established. Along with effective lipid-lowering treatments, the recent success of clinical trials with anti-inflammatory therapies and the accelerated atherosclerosis in many autoimmune diseases suggest that targeting inflammation may open new avenues for the prevention and the treatment for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). In the past decades, studies have widened the role of type-I interferons (IFNs) in disease, from antivirus defense to autoimmune responses and immuno-metabolic syndromes. While elevated type-I IFN level in serum is associated with CVD incidence in patients with interferonopathies, experimental data have attested that type-I IFNs affect plaque-residing macrophages, potentiate foam cell and extracellular trap formation, induce endothelial dysfunction, alter the phenotypes of dendritic cells and T and B lymphocytes, and lead to exacerbated atherosclerosis outcomes. In this review, we discuss the production and the effects of type-I IFNs in different atherosclerosis-associated cell types from molecular biology studies, animal models, and clinical observations, and the potential of new therapies against type-I IFN signaling for atherosclerosis.
Mannan-binding lectin (MBL), a member of the collectin family, is known to have opsonic function, although identification of its cellular receptor has been elusive. Complement C1q, which is homologous to MBL, binds to complement receptor 1 (CR1/CD35), and thus we investigated whether CR1 also functions as the MBL receptor. Radioiodinated MBL bound to recombinant soluble CR1 (sCR1) that had been immobilized on plastic with an apparent equilibrium dissociation constant of 5 nM. N -acetyl- d -glucosamine did not inhibit sCR1–MBL binding, indicating that the carbohydrate binding site of MBL is not involved in binding CR1. C1q inhibited MBL binding to immobilized sCR1, suggesting that MBL and C1q might bind to the same or adjacent sites on CR1. MBL binding to polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) was associated positively with changes in CR1 expression induced by phorbol myristate acetate. Finally, CR1 mediated the adhesion of human erythrocytes to immobilized MBL and functioned as a phagocytic receptor on PMNs for MBL–immunoglobulin G opsonized bacteria. Thus, MBL binds to both recombinant sCR1 and cellular CR1, which supports the role of CR1 as a cellular receptor for the collectin MBL.