The local microenvironment shapes macrophage differentiation in each tissue. We hypothesized that in the peritoneum, local factors in addition to retinoic acid can support GATA6-driven differentiation and function of peritoneal large cavity macrophages (LCMs). We found that soluble proteins produced by mesothelial cells lining the peritoneal cavity maintained GATA6 expression in cultured LCMs. Analysis of global gene expression of isolated mesothelial cells highlighted mesothelin (Msln) and its binding partner mucin 16 (Muc16) as candidate secreted ligands that potentially regulate GATA6 expression in peritoneal LCMs. Mice deficient for either of these molecules showed diminished GATA6 expression in peritoneal and pleural LCMs that was most prominent in aged mice. The more robust phenotype in older mice suggested that monocyte-derived macrophages were the target of Msln and Muc16. Cell transfer and bone marrow chimera experiments supported this hypothesis. We found that lethally irradiated Msln2/2 and Muc162/2 mice reconstituted with wild-type bone marrow had lower levels of GATA6 expression in peritoneal and pleural LCMs. Similarly, during the resolution of zymosan-induced inflammation, repopulated peritoneal LCMs lacking expression of Msln or Muc16 expressed diminished GATA6. These data support a role for mesothelial cell_produced Msln and Muc16 in local macrophage differentiation within large cavity spaces such as the peritoneum. The effect appears to be most prominent on monocyte-derived macrophages that enter into this location as the host ages and also in response to infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)742-750
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 15 2022


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