MFG-E8-L REGULATES PHAGOCYTIC REMOVAL OF APOPTOTIC CELLS BY MACROPHAGES
The present invention is to provide a removal promoter for apoptotic cells which is capable of immediately removing apoptotic cells in vivo by macrophages, or a removal inhibitor which inhibits the removal of apoptotic cells in vivo by macrophages. A removal promoter for apoptotic cells in vivo containing the milk fat globule-EGF factor 8-L (MFG-E8-L), MFG-E8-L mutant having removal promotion action for apoptotic cells in vivo by macrophages, or preferably a recombinant human or mouse MFG-E8-L, or a recombinant human or mouse MFG-E8-L mutant as an active ingredient is prepared. Such removal promoters specifically bind to apoptotic cells and promote the phagocytosis of apoptotic cells by macrophages by recognizing aminophospholipids such as phosphatidylserine exposed on apoptotic cell surface. On the other hand, a point mutation (D89E) MFG-E8-L mutant is used as a removal inhibitor.