Dendritic cell immunoreceptor (DCIR) is a C-type lectin receptor with a carbohydrate recognition domain and an immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motif. Previously, we showed that Dcir−/− mice spontaneously develop autoimmune enthesitis and sialadenitis, and also develop metabolic bone abnormalities. However, the ligands for DCIR functionality remain to be elucidated. Here we showed that DCIR is expressed on osteoclasts and DCs and binds to an asialo-biantennary N-glycan(s) (NA2) on bone cells and myeloid cells. Osteoclastogenesis was enhanced in Dcir−/− cells, and NA2 inhibited osteoclastogenesis. Neuraminidase treatment, which exposes excess NA2 by removing the terminal sialic acid of N-glycans, suppressed osteoclastogenesis and DC function. Neuraminidase treatment of mice ameliorated collagen-induced arthritis and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in a DCIR-dependent manner, due to suppression of antigen presentation by DCs. These results suggest that DCIR activity is regulated by the modification of the terminal sialylation of biantennary N-glycans, and this interaction is important for the control of both autoimmune and bone metabolic diseases.

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