Inflammation-resolution is a protective response that is mediated by specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs). The clearance of dead cells or efferocytosis is a critical cellular program of inflammation-resolution. Impaired efferocytosis can lead to tissue damage in prevalent human diseases, like atherosclerosis. Therefore understanding mechanisms associated with swift clearance of dead cells is of utmost clinical importance. Recently, the accumulation of necroptotic cells (NCs) was observed in human plaques and we postulated that this is due to defective clearance programs. Here we present evidence that NCs are inefficiently taken up by macrophages because they have increased surface expression of a well-known "don't eat me" signal called CD47. High levels of CD47 on NCs stimulated RhoA-pMLC signaling in macrophages that promoted "nibbling", rather than whole-cell engulfment of NCs. Anti-CD47 blocking antibodies limited RhoA-p-MLC signaling and promoted whole-cell NC engulfment. Treatment with anti-CD47 blocking antibodies to Ldlr-/- mice with established atherosclerosis decreased necrotic cores, limited the accumulation of plaque NCs and increased lesional SPMs, including Resolvin D1 (RvD1) compared with IgG controls. Mechanistically, RvD1 promoted whole-cell engulfment of NCs by decreasing RhoA signaling and activating CDC42. RvD1 specifically targeted NCs for engulfment by facilitating the release of the well-known "eat me signal" called calreticulin from macrophages in a CDC42 dependent manner. Lastly, RvD1 enhanced the clearance of NCs in advanced murine plaques. Together, these results suggest new molecules and signaling associated with the clearance of NCs, provide a new paradigm for the regulation of inflammation-resolution, and offer a potential treatment strategy for diseases where NCs underpin the pathology.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41418-019-0370-1
View details for PubMedID 31222041