On human mature monocytes the immunomodulator IFN-gamma has been shown to down-regulate the receptor for the anaphylatoxic peptide C5a (CD88, C5aR). In this study, we show that in immature myelo-/monoblastic U937, HL60, and MonoMac6 cells, IFN-gamma induces C5aR-ligand binding activity. In U937 cells, this induction cannot be blocked by the protein kinase C inhibitor staurosporine. An increase in free cytosolic Ca2+ upon ligand binding indicates functional coupling of this receptor in U937 and HL-60 cells. G-Proteins involved in this C5a responsiveness after IFN-gamma induction are completely pertussis toxin sensitive. Our data suggest that an additional pertussis toxin-resistant pathway exists in U937 cells after induction by dibutyryl cAMP. However, this is not due to changes in the mRNA level of the pertussis toxin-insensitive G-protein subunit G alpha 16. Induction by dibutyryl cAMP, but not that by IFN-gamma, resulted in C5a-dependent release of N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase, further highlighting functional differences in the effects of the inducers. Our data show an IFN-gamma-dependent increase in C5aR expression and suggest a maturation-related change in signaling of the C5aR, presumably at the level of receptor coupling.

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