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J Immunol. 2003 Jun 15;170(12):6355-62.

Failure of monocytes of trauma patients to convert to immature dendritic cells is related to preferential macrophage-colony-stimulating factor-driven macrophage differentiation.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Rochester, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.


Following trauma, increased inflammatory monokine activation and depressed APC function can occur simultaneously. These contradictory monocyte (Mphi) dysfunctions could result if postinjury Mphi differentiation preferentially favored inflammatory macrophage (Mac) differentiation over development into the most potent APC, dendritic cells (DC). In this report, Mphi of trauma patients with a depressed MLR induction capacity are, for the first time, shown to be unable to differentiate in vitro to immature CD1a(+) DC under the influence of GM-CSF and IL-4. Trauma patient Mphi that retained MLR-inducing capacity had a nonsignificant reduction in DC differentiation capacity. Only patient Mphi populations with depressed differentiation to immature DC (iDC) demonstrated depressed IL-12 and IL-15 production and a continued reduced MLR induction capacity. Neither increased IL-10 production nor decreased CD11c(+) DC precursor numbers correlated with depressed Mphi-to-DC differentiation. Instead, these patients' APC-dysfunctional Mphi populations had increased expression of inflammatory Mac phenotypes (CD64(+), CD86(low), HLA-DR(low)) and up-regulated secretion of M-CSF. M-CSF combined with IL-6 inhibits Mphi-to-iDC differentiation and promotes Mphi-to-Mac differentiation by down-regulating GM-CSFR expression and increasing DC apoptosis. Both depressed GM-CSFR expression and increased Mphi iDC apoptosis, as well as increased expression of CD126 (IL-6R) and CD115 (M-CSFR), were detected in APC-defective patient Mphi. In vitro addition of anti-M-CSF enhanced the IL-4 plus GM-CSF-induced Mphi-to-DC differentiation of these patients. This suggests that, in trauma patients, enhanced Mphi-to-Mac differentiation with concomitant inhibited iDC development is partially due to increased circulating Mphi sensitivity to and production of M-CSF and contributes to postinjury immunoaberrations.

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