Résumé : Throughout this work, we looked at P2X coupled pathways in macrophages. We worked on three different models of macrophages in order to establish the best model to understand the role of P2X4 receptors in the inflammation. Our work also consisted of further characterizing P2X7 receptor dependent pathways in these models.

P2X4 and P2X7 receptors are ionotropic receptors which are expressed by a variety of immune cells including macrophages. Macrophages play a very important host defense function as they are major actors in the innate immune system and they can initiate the activation of the adaptive immune system. The endogenous ligand of P2X receptors is ATP for which they share very different sensitivities. P2X4 receptors are relatively sensitive to this agonist while P2X7 receptors require concentrations > 100 μM ATP to be activated.

Our study supports the expression of P2X4 and P2X7 receptors in J774.2 murine macrophages and in human macrophages. Additionally, we worked on murine peritoneal macrophages for which the existence of P2X4 and P2X7 receptor expression had previously been shown in our lab.

A wide range of different macrophage phenotypes exist. Two extremes determine an array of phenotypes which are delimited by M1 pro-inflammatory macrophages and M2 anti-inflammatory macrophages while Mφ macrophages define the center of the array. Most of the work exposed in this study was carried out on pro-inflammatory macrophages which were obtained either by priming the cells with LPS alone (Mφ + LPS) or by polarizing them with LPS in association with IFNγ (M1).

We show in this study that LPS-primed J774.2 murine macrophages are not a good model to study the role of surface P2X4 receptor in pro-inflammatory macrophages. Additionally, we support that murine peritoneal macrophages primed with LPS are a good model to understand the hypothetical role of P2X4 receptors in the inflammation. Finally, we suggest that human M1 macrophages could be as well. Next, we also confirm that J774.2 murine macrophages, murine peritoneal macrophages and human macrophage express functional P2X7 receptors. In this study, we show that P2X7 receptors are coupled to RONS formation in J774.2 murine macrophages and to AA release through PLA2 activation in peritoneal macrophages. We show that activation of J774.2 murine macrophages with high concentrations of ATP (>600 μM) stimulates ROS formation including mitochondrial superoxide anions. In addition, our work shows the importance in using different dyes and suggests that different types of ROS play different functions in P2X7 receptors downstream pathways.

Next, we show that P2X7 receptor activation is coupled to an iPLA2 activity and that the release of free fatty acids mediated by 1 mM ATP is p-ERK1/2 dependent in LPS-primed murine peritoneal macrophages.

In addition, we have evaluated the effect of hypoxia on pathways which have been reported to be coupled to P2X7 receptor activation in pro-inflammatory human macrophages. Hypoxia does not seem to modulate P2X7 receptor functionality. However, both acute and chronic hypoxia influenced P2X7 receptors downstream pro-inflammatory coupled pathways. Finally, our work has enabled us to suggest for the first time that IFNγ plays an important function in host defense mediated by human P2X7 receptor activation in a hypoxic environment.

The effect of extracellular environment and thus different macrophage phenotypes have also been evaluated throughout this work in which we looked at the effect of polarization on P2X4 and P2X7 receptor functionality. Our work shows that LPS-priming does not modulate P2X4 receptor functionality in murine macrophages. Next, through our work, we suggest that polarization of human macrophages affects P2X4 receptor functionality in human macrophages. Additionally, our work shows that LPS affects ATP-mediated RONS formation in J774.2 murine macrophages but not P2X7-mediated AA release in primary murine macrophages.

Overall, first, our work has enabled us to suggest macrophage models to use in order to study the hypothetical role of P2X4 receptor in the inflammation mediated by macrophages. Second, it has allowed us to further understand how P2X7 receptors can act as important mediators of the immune system mediated by macrophages. In addition, many interesting observations were made in this study which allows us to propose several options for future directions. To finish, our work underlines the importance of the extracellular environment in some pathways mediated by ATP in macrophages.