Human Monocytes - CD14, CD16 - Ziegler-Heitbrock

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A Single-Cell Gene-Expression Profile Reveals Inter-Cellular Heterogeneity within Human Monocyte Subsets

Abstract

Human monocytes are a heterogeneous cell population classified into three different subsets: Classical CD14++CD16-, intermediate CD14++CD16+, and non-classical CD14+CD16++ monocytes. These subsets are distinguished by their differential expression of CD14 and CD16, and unique gene expression profile. So far, the variation in inter-cellular gene expression within the monocyte subsets is largely unknown. In this study, the cellular variation within each human monocyte subset from a single healthy donor was described by using a novel single-cell PCR gene-expression analysis tool. We investigated 86 different genes mainly encoding cell surface markers, and proteins involved in immune regulation. Within the three human monocyte subsets, our descriptive findings show multimodal expression of key immune response genes, such as CD40, NFⱪB1, RELA, TLR4, TLR8 and TLR9. Furthermore, we discovered one subgroup of cells within the classical monocytes, which showed alterations of 22 genes e.g. IRF8, CD40, CSF1R, NFⱪB1, RELA and TNF. Additionally one subgroup within the intermediate and non-classical monocytes also displayed distinct gene signatures by altered expression of 8 and 6 genes, respectively. Hence the three monocyte subsets can be further subdivided according to activation status and differentiation, independently of the traditional classification based on cell surface markers. Demonstrating the use and the ability to discover cell heterogeneity within defined populations of human monocytes is of great importance, and can be useful in unravelling inter-cellular variation in leukocyte populations, identifying subpopulations involved in disease pathogenesis and help tailor new therapies.

Authors: Gren ST, Rasmussen TB, Janciauskiene S, Håkansson K, Gerwien JG, Grip O.
Journal: PLoS One.;10:e0144351
Year: 2015
PubMed: Find in PubMed