Pigs provide a highly sensitive and quantitative in vivo model for complement (C) activation-related pseudoallergy (CARPA), a hypersensitivity reaction caused by some state-of-art nanomedicines. In an effort to understand the mechanism of the pigs' unique sensitivity for CARPA, this review focuses on pulmonary intravascular macrophages (PIMs), which are abundantly present in the lung of pigs. These cells represent a macrophage subpopulation whose unique qualities explain the characteristic symptoms of CARPA in this species, most importantly the rapidly (within minutes) developing pulmonary vasoconstriction, leading to elevation of pulmonary arterial pressure. The unique qualities of PIM cells include the following; 1) they are strongly adhered to the capillary walls via desmosome-like intercellular adhesion plaques, which secure stable and lasting direct exposition of the bulk of these cells to the blood stream; 2) their ruffled surface engaged in intense phagocytic activity ensures efficient binding and phagocytosis of nanoparticles; 3) PIM cells express anaphylatoxin receptors, this way C activation can trigger these cells, 4) they also express pattern recognition molecules on their surface, whose engagement with certain coated nanoparticles may also activate these cells or act in synergy with anaphylatoxins and, finally 5) their high metabolic activity and capability for immediate secretion of vasoactive mediators upon stimulation explain the circulatory blockage and other robust physiological effects that their stimulation may cause. These qualities taken together with reports on liposome uptake by PIM cells during CARPA and the possible presence of these cells in human lung suggests that PIM cells may be a potential therapeutic target against CARPA.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Biomedical Engineering
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry