Csf1r-mApple transgene expression and ligand binding in vivo reveal dynamics of CSF1R expression within the mononuclear phagocyte system

Catherine A. Hawley, Rocío Rojo, Anna Raper, Kristin A. Sauter, Zofia M. Lisowski, Kathleen Grabert, Calum C. Bain, Gemma M. Davis, Pieter A. Louwe, Michael C. Ostrowski, David A. Hume, Clare Pridans, Stephen J. Jenkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


CSF1 is the primary growth factor controlling macrophages numbers, but whether expression of the CSF1 receptor (CSF1R) differs between discrete populations of mononuclear phagocytes remains unclear. We have generated a Csf1r-mApple transgenic fluorescent reporter mouse that, in combination with lineage tracing, Alexa Fluor 647-labeled CSF1-Fc and CSF1, and a modified Csf1r-ECFP transgene that lacks a 150bp segment of the distal promoter, we have used to dissect the differentiation and CSF1-responsiveness of mononuclear phagocyte populations in situ. Consistent with previous Csf1r-driven reporter lines, Csf1r-mApple was expressed in blood monocytes and at higher levels in tissue macrophages, and was readily detectable in whole mounts or with multiphoton microscopy. In the liver and peritoneal cavity, uptake of labeled CSF1 largely reflected transgene expression, with greater receptor activity in mature macrophages than monocytes and tissue-specific expression in conventional dendritic cells (cDC). However, CSF1 uptake also differed between subsets of monocytes and discrete populations of tissue macrophages, which in macrophages correlated with their level of dependence on CSF1R signaling for survival rather than degree of transgene expression. A double Csf1r-ECFP-Csf1r-mApple transgenic mouse distinguished subpopulations of microglia in the brain, and permitted imaging of interstitial macrophages distinct from alveolar macrophages, and pulmonary monocytes and cDC. The Csf1r-mApple mice and fluorescently labeled CSF1 will be valuable resources for the study of macrophage and CSF1 biology, which are compatible with existing EGFP-based reporter lines.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2209-2223
Number of pages15
JournalThe Journal of Immunology
Issue number6
Early online date12 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2018


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