Leukocyte-associated Ig-like receptor-1-deficient mice have an altered immune cell phenotype.
Cross-linking of the collagen binding receptor leukocyte-associated Ig-like receptor-1 (LAIR-1) in vitro delivers an inhibitory signal that is able to downregulate activation-mediated signals. To study the in vivo function of LAIR-1, we generated LAIR-1(-/-) mice. They are healthy and fertile and have normal longevity; however, they show certain phenotypic characteristics distinct from wild-type mice, including increased numbers of splenic B, regulatory T, and dendritic cells. As LAIR-1(-/-) mice age, the splenic T cell population shows a higher frequency of activated and memory T cells. Because LAIR-1(+/+) and LAIR-1(-/-) T cells traffic with equal proficiency to peripheral lymphoid organs, this is not likely due to abnormal T lymphocyte trafficking. LAIR-1(-/-) mice have lower serum levels of IgG1 and, in response to T-dependent immunization with trinitrophenyl-OVA, switch less efficiently to Ag specific IgG2a and IgG2b, whereas switching to IgG1 is not affected. Several mouse disease models, including experimental autoimmune encephalitis and colitis, were used to examine the effect of LAIR-1 deficiency, and no differences in the responses of LAIR-1(-/-) and LAIR-1(+/+) mice were observed. Taken together, these observations indicate that LAIR-1 plays a role in regulating immune cells and suggest that any adverse effects of its absence may be balanced in vivo by other inhibitory receptors.