Monocyte subsets in human liver disease show distinct phenotypic and functional characteristics

Centre for Liver Research and NIHR Biomedical Research Unit in Liver Disease, Institute of Biomedical Research, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK.
Hepatology (Impact Factor: 11.19). 01/2013; 57(1). DOI: 10.1002/hep.26016
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Liver fibrosis is a wound healing response to chronic liver injury and inflammation in which macrophages and infiltrating monocytes participate in both the development and resolution phase. In humans, three monocyte subsets have been identified: the classical CD14++CD16-, intermediate CD14++CD16+ and non-classical CD14+CD16++ monocytes. We studied the phenotype and function of these monocyte subsets in peripheral blood and liver tissue from patients with chronic inflammatory and fibrotic liver diseases. The frequency of intrahepatic monocytes increased in disease compared with control liver tissue and in both non-diseased and diseased livers there was a higher frequency of CD14++CD16+ cells with blood. Our data suggest two non-exclusive mechanisms of CD14++CD16+ accumulation in the inflamed liver: 1) recruitment from blood because more than twice as many CD14++CD16+ monocytes underwent transendothelial migration through hepatic endothelial cells compared with CD14++CD16- cells 2) local differentiation from CD14++CD16- classical monocytes in response to TGFβ and IL-10. Intrahepatic CD14++CD16+ cells expressed both macrophage and dendritic cell markers but showed high levels of phagocytic activity, antigen presentation and T cell proliferation and secreted pro-inflammatory (TNFα, IL-6, IL-8, IL-1β) and pro-fibrogenic cytokines (IL-13), chemokines (CCL1, CCL2, CCL3, CCL5), and growth factors (G-CSF and GM-CSF), consistent with a role in the wound healing response. CONCLUSION: Intermediate CD14++CD16+ monocytes preferentially accumulate in chronically inflamed human liver as a consequence of enhanced recruitment from blood and local differentiation from classical CD14++CD16- monocytes. Their phagocytic potential and ability to secrete inflammatory and pro-fibrogenic cytokines suggests they play an important role in hepatic fibrogenesis. (HEPATOLOGY 2012.).

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    ABSTRACT: Background Paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) is systemic mycosis caused by the thermal dimorphic fungus of genus Paracoccidioides, leading to either acute/subacute (AF) or chronic (CF) clinical forms. Numerous CF patients after treatment exhibit sequels, such as pulmonary and adrenal fibrosis. Monocytes are cells that are involved in the inflammatory response during active infection as well as in the fibrogenesis. These cells comprise a heterogeneous population with distinct phenotypic and functional activities. The scope of this study was to identify changes regarding functional and phenotypical aspects in monocytes comparing CF PCM patients on antifungal treatment versus non-treated patients (PMC-p).Methods Twenty-three CF PCM composed of 11 non-treated patients (NTG) and 12 patients in apparent cure (ACG) were studied. Sixteen healthy individuals were used as control group (CG). Monocyte subsets were determined by immunophenotyping based on CD14 and CD16 expression. Cellular function was measured in vitro with and without stimulation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and P. brasiliensis exoantigen (PbAg) for 24 hours. Independent samples were compared using unpaired t tests, dependent samples were analyzed by paired t-test. Groups of more than two independent samples were analyzed using an ANOVA, with Tukey¿s post-test. Significance was set up at p <0.05.ResultsOur results showed high counts of peripheral blood CD14+CD16+ and CD14+CD16++ monocytes in untreated PCM-p accompanied by intense production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1ß and TNF-¿) and profibrotic growth factors (TGF-ß1 and bFGF) by monocytes challenged with P. brasiliensis antigens. After the introduction of antifungal therapy, the counts of CD14+CD16+ cells returned to baseline while CD14+CD16++ counts remained high. Interestingly, counts of CD14+CD16++ monocytes remained elevated even 52¿±¿7 months after successful antifungal treatment. Furthermore, the ACG-patients showed preserved pro-inflammatory activity in the presence of specific antigen stimuli and high spontaneous production of TNF-¿ by monocytes.Conclusions Infection with Paracoccidioides leads to initiation of a specific proinflammatory response by monocytes of PCM-p during active disease and in the apparent cure. A profibrotic profile by monocytes was observed only at admission. Furthermore, PCM-p with apparent cure showed high spontaneous production of TNF-¿ and high counts of CD14+CD16++ monocytes, probably induced by hypoxia duo to fibrotic sequelae.
    BMC Infectious Diseases 10/2014; 14(1):552. DOI:10.1186/s12879-014-0552-x · 2.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The liver is a central immunological organ. Liver resident macrophages, Kupffer cells (KC), but also sinusoidal endothelial cells, dendritic cells (DC) and other immune cells are involved in balancing immunity and tolerance against pathogens, commensals or food antigens. Hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) have been primarily characterized as the main effector cells in liver fibrosis, due to their capacity to transdifferentiate into collagen-producing myofibroblasts (MFB). More recent studies elucidated the fundamental role of HSC in liver immunology. HSC are not only the major storage site for dietary vitamin A (Vit A) (retinol, retinoic acid), which is essential for proper function of the immune system. This pericyte further represents a versatile source of many soluble immunological active factors including cytokines [e.g., interleukin 17 (IL-17)] and chemokines [C-C motif chemokine (ligand) 2 (CCL2)], may act as an antigen presenting cell (APC), and has autophagy activity. Additionally, it responds to many immunological triggers via toll-like receptors (TLR) (e.g., TLR4, TLR9) and transduces signals through pathways and mediators traditionally found in immune cells, including the Hedgehog (Hh) pathway or inflammasome activation. Overall, HSC promote rather immune-suppressive responses in homeostasis, like induction of regulatory T cells (Treg), T cell apoptosis (via B7-H1, PDL-1) or inhibition of cytotoxic CD8 T cells. In conditions of liver injury, HSC are important sensors of altered tissue integrity and initiators of innate immune cell activation. Vice versa, several immune cell subtypes interact directly or via soluble mediators with HSC. Such interactions include the mutual activation of HSC (towards MFB) and macrophages or pro-apoptotic signals from natural killer (NK), natural killer T (NKT) and gamma-delta T cells (γδ T-cells) on activated HSC. Current directions of research investigate the immune-modulating functions of HSC in the environment of liver tumors, cellular heterogeneity or interactions promoting HSC deactivation during resolution of liver fibrosis. Understanding the role of HSC as central regulators of liver immunology may lead to novel therapeutic strategies for chronic liver diseases.
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    ABSTRACT: Macrophages have been found to both promote liver fibrosis and contribute to its resolution by acquiring different phenotypes based on signals from the micro-environment. The best-characterized phenotypes in the macrophage spectrum are labeled M1 (classically activated) and M2 (alternatively activated). Until now the in situ localization of these phenotypes in diseased livers is poorly described. In this study, we therefore aimed to localize and quantify M1- and M2-dominant macrophages in diseased mouse and human livers. The scarred collagen-rich areas in cirrhotic human livers and in CCl4-damaged mouse livers contained many macrophages. Though total numbers of macrophages were higher in fibrotic livers, the number of parenchymal CD68-positive macrophages was significantly lower as compared to normal. Scar-associated macrophages were further characterized as either M1-dominant (IRF-5 and interleukin-12) or M2-dominant (CD206, transglutaminase-2, and YM-1) and significantly higher numbers of both of these were detected in diseased livers as compared to healthy human and mouse livers. Interestingly, in mouse, livers undergoing resolution of fibrosis, the total number of CD68(+) macrophages was significantly lower compared to their fibrotic counterparts. M2-dominant (YM-1) macrophages were almost completely gone in livers undergoing resolution, while numbers of M1-dominant (IRF-5) macrophages were almost unchanged and the proteolytic activity (MMP9) increased. In conclusion, this study shows the distribution of macrophage subsets in livers of both human and murine origin. The presence of M1- and M2-dominant macrophages side by side in fibrotic lesions suggests that both are involved in fibrotic responses, while the persistence of M1-dominant macrophages during resolution may indicate their importance in regression of fibrosis. This study emphasizes that immunohistochemical detection of M1/M2-dominant macrophages provides valuable information in addition to widely used flow cytometry and gene analysis.
    Frontiers in Immunology 09/2014; 5:430. DOI:10.3389/fimmu.2014.00430


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May 23, 2014

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