CRIg Functions as a Macrophage Pattern Recognition Receptor to Directly Bind and Capture Blood-Borne Gram-Positive Bacteria

Zhutian Zeng, Bas G J Surewaard, Connie H Y Wong, Joan A. Geoghegan, Craig N. Jenne, Paul Kubes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

124 Citations (Scopus)


Kupffer cells (KCs), the vast pool of intravascular macrophages in the liver, help to clear blood-borne pathogens. The mechanisms by which KCs capture circulating pathogens remain unknown. Here we use intra-vital imaging of mice infected with Staphylococcus aureus to directly visualize the dynamic process of bacterial capture in the liver. Circulating S. aureus were captured by KCs in a manner dependent on the macrophage complement receptor CRIg, but the process was independent of complement. CRIg bound Staphylococcus aureus specifically through recognition of lipoteichoic acid (LTA), but not cell-wall-anchored surface proteins or peptidoglycan. Blocking the recognition between CRIg and LTA in vivo diminished the bacterial capture in liver and led to systemic bacterial dissemination. All tested Gram-positive, but not Gram-negative, bacteria bound CRIg in a complement-independent manner. These findings reveal a pattern recognition role for CRIg in the direct capture of circulating Gram-positive bacteria from the bloodstream.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-106
Number of pages8
JournalCell Host & Microbe
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • complement
  • intravital imaging
  • Kupffer cells
  • liver
  • Staphylococcus aureus

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