Several reports have demonstrated that mouse Cx3cr1 signaling promotes monocyte/macrophage survival. In agreement, we previously found that, in a mouse model of systemic candidiasis, genetic deficiency of Cx3cr1 resulted in increased mortality and impaired tissue fungal clearance associated with decreased macrophage survival. We translated this finding by showing that the dysfunctional CX3CR1 variant CX3CR1-M280 was associated with increased risk and worse outcome of human systemic candidiasis. However, the impact of this mutation on human monocyte/macrophage survival is poorly understood. Herein, we hypothesized that CX3CR1-M280 impairs human monocyte survival. We identified WT (CX3CR1-WT/WT), CX3CR1-WT/M280 heterozygous, and CX3CR1-M280/M280 homozygous healthy donors of European descent, and we show that CX3CL1 rescues serum starvation–induced cell death in CX3CR1-WT/WT and CX3CR1-WT/M280 but not in CX3CR1-M280/M280 monocytes. CX3CL1-induced survival of CX3CR1-WT/WT monocytes is mediated via AKT and ERK activation, which are both impaired in CX3CR1-M280/M280 monocytes, associated with decreased blood monocyte counts in CX3CR1-M280/M280 donors at steady state. Instead, CX3CR1-M280/M280 does not affect monocyte CX3CR1 surface expression or innate immune effector functions. Together, we show that homozygocity of the M280 polymorphism in CX3CR1 is a potentially novel population-based genetic factor that influences human monocyte signaling.
Amanda L. Collar, Muthulekha Swamydas, Morgan O’Hayre, Md Sanaullah Sajib, Kevin W. Hoffman, Satya P. Singh, Ahmad Mourad, Melissa D. Johnson, Elise M.N. Ferre, Joshua M. Farber, Jean K. Lim, Constantinos M. Mikelis, J. Silvio Gutkind, Michail S. Lionakis