Background: This study tests the hypothesis that the mannose receptor (MR/CD206), which is expressed primarily by macrophages and dendritic cells, can be found in a soluble form (sMR, sMR) in human serum. Furthermore, we wished to establish and validate an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for sMR and to perform initial studies exploring the potential of sMR as a biomarker. Methods: Western blotting identified a single band of approximately 170 kDa in human serum, and MALDI MS/MS of the purified protein confirmed it to be sMR. An ELISA was established and validated with a measurement range of 1-256 µg/L. Results: The 95% reference interval was 0.10-0.43 mg/L based on measurements of serum samples from healthy individuals (n=217). Samples from hospitalised patients (n=219) revealed that more than 50% of patients had concentrations above 0.43 mg/L. Very high concentrations (up to 6.2 mg/L) were observed in critically ill patients with sepsis and/or severe liver disease. Conclusions: This study documents, for the first time, the presence of sMR in human serum and describes an optimised ELISA suitable for quantitative measurements. Levels of sMR are strongly elevated in several disease states, including sepsis and liver disease, and the protein therefore shows promise as a new biomarker.
Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, 2014, Vol 52, Issue 3, p. 453-61