Recent Faculty Publication: "SR-BI (Scavenger Receptor Class B Type 1) Is Critical in Maintaining Normal T-Cell Development and Enhancing Thymic Regeneration."

Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2018 Nov;38(11):2706-2717. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.118.311728.

SR-BI (Scavenger Receptor Class B Type 1) Is Critical in Maintaining Normal T-Cell Development and Enhancing Thymic Regeneration.

Zheng Z1,2, Ai J1,2, Guo L2, Ye X2, Bondada S3, Howatt D2, Daugherty A2,4, Li XA1,2,4.


Objective- Continuous T-cell production from thymus is essential in replenishing naïve T-cell pool and maintaining optimal T-cell functions. However, the underlying mechanisms regulating the T-cell development in thymus remains largely unknown. Approach and Results- We identified SR-BI (scavenger receptor class B type 1), an HDL (high-density lipoprotein) receptor, as a novel modulator in T-cell development. We found that SR-BI deficiency in mice led to reduced thymus size and decreased T-cell production, which was accompanied by narrowed peripheral naïve T-cell pool. Further investigation revealed that SR-BI deficiency impaired progenitor thymic homing, causing a dramatic reduction in the percentage of earliest thymic progenitors, but did not affect other downstream T-cell developmental steps inside the thymus. As a result of the impaired progenitor thymic homing, SR-BI-deficient mice displayed delayed thymic regeneration postirradiation. Using a variety of experimental approaches, we revealed that the impaired T-cell development in SR-BI-deficient mice was not caused by hematopoietic SR-BI deficiency or SR-BI deficiency-induced hypercholesterolemia, but mainly attributed to the SR-BI deficiency in adrenal glands, as adrenal-specific SR-BI-deficient mice exhibited similar defects in T-cell development and thymic regeneration with SR-BI-deficient mice. Conclusions- This study demonstrates that SR-BI deficiency impaired T-cell development and delayed thymic regeneration by affecting progenitor thymic homing in mice, elucidating a previously unrecognized link between SR-BI and adaptive immunity.


adrenal glands; bone marrow cells; bone marrow transplantation; lymph nodes; regeneration

PMID: 30354229
 [Available on 2019-11-01]