Human Monocytes - CD14, CD16 - Ziegler-Heitbrock


The MHC class II antigen presentation pathway in human monocytes differs by subset and is regulated by cytokines.


Monocytes play a critical role in the innate and adaptive immune systems, performing phagocytosis, presenting antigen, and producing cytokines. They are a heterogeneous population that has been divided in humans into classical, intermediate, and non-classical subsets, but the roles of these subsets are incompletely understood. In this study, we investigated the expression patterns of MHC class II (MHCII) and associated molecules and find that the intermediate monocytes express the highest levels of the MHC molecules, HLA-DR (tested in n = 30 samples), HLA-DP (n = 30), and HLA-DQ (n = 10). HLA-DM (n = 30), which catalyzes the peptide exchange on the MHC molecules, is also expressed at the highest levels in intermediate monocytes. To measure HLA-DM function, we measured levels of MHCII-bound CLIP (class II invariant chain peptide, n = 23), which is exchanged for other peptides by HLA-DM. We calculated CLIP:MHCII ratios to normalize CLIP levels to MHCII levels, and found that intermediate monocytes have the lowest CLIP:MHCII ratio. We isolated the different monocyte subsets (in a total of 7 samples) and analyzed their responses to selected cytokines as model of monocyte activation: two M1-polarizing cytokines (IFNγ, GM-CSF), an M2-polarizing cytokine (IL-4) and IL-10. Classical monocytes exhibit the largest increases in class II pathway expression in response to stimulatory cytokines (IFNγ, GM-CSF, IL-4). All three subsets decrease HLA-DR levels after IL-10 exposure. Our findings argue that intermediate monocytes are the most efficient constitutive antigen presenting subset, that classical monocytes are recruited into an antigen presentation role during inflammatory responses and that IL-10 negatively regulates this function across all subsets.

Authors: Lee J, Tam H, Adler L, Ilstad-Minnihan A, Macaubas C, Mellins ED.
Journal: PLoS One. 2017 Aug 23;12(8):e0183594
Year: 2017
PubMed: Find in PubMed