Identification of Novel Human Monocyte Subsets and Evidence for Phenotypic Groups Defined by Interindividual Variations of Expression of Adhesion Molecules

F Merah-Mourah, S O Cohen, D Charron, N Mooney, A Haziot
Scientific Reports 2020 March 10, 10 (1): 4397
Monocytes contribute to immune responses as a source for subsets of dendritic cells and macrophages. Human blood monocytes are classified as classical, non-classical and intermediate cells. However, the particular functions of these subsets have been hard to define, with conflicting results and significant overlaps. One likely reason for these ambiguities is in the heterogeneity of these monocyte subsets regrouping cells with divergent functions. To better define monocyte populations, we have analysed expression of 17 markers by multicolour flow cytometry in samples obtained from 28 control donors. Data acquisition was tailored to detect populations present at low frequencies. Our results reveal the existence of novel monocyte subsets detected as larger CD14+ cells that were CD16+ or CD16neg . These large monocytes differed from regular, smaller monocytes with respect to expression of various cell surface molecules, such as FcR, chemokine receptors, and adhesion molecules. Unsupervised multidimensional analysis confirmed the existence of large monocytes and revealed interindividual variations that were grouped according to unique patterns of expression of adhesion molecules CD62L, CD49d, and CD43. Distinct inflammatory responses to TLR agonists were found in small and large monocytes. Overall, refining the definition of monocyte subsets should lead to the identification of populations with specific functions.

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