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J Leukoc Biol. 2001 Aug;70(2):241-51.

Monocyte differentiation in intestine-like macrophage phenotype induced by epithelial cells.

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Department of Internal Medicine I, University of Regensburg, 93042 Regensburg, Germany.


Macrophages in normal colonic mucosa show a specific and distinct phenotype with low expression of the typical monocyte/macrophage surface antigens CD14, CD16, and CD11b and T-cell costimulatory molecules. A method for the in vitro induction of a macrophage phenotype similar to this intestinal phenotype is presented. Multicellular spheroids (MCSs) of intestinal epithelial cell (IEC) and control cell lines were cocultured with elutriated monocytes. Surface antigen expression was analyzed by immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry. Interleukin (IL)-1beta mRNA was measured by quantitative PCR. Monocytes adhered and infiltrated the MCSs within 24 h. In the MCSs of all IEC lines, the typical monocyte/macrophage surface antigens CD14, CD16, CD11b, and CD11c, which are detectable after 24 h of coculture by immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry, were down-regulated after 7 days (e.g., for CD14 at 24 h, expression was 86% of CD33+ cells; at day 7, it was 11%). A clear decrease of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated IL-1beta transcription in monocytes cocultured with IEC MCSs could be observed during the 7-day period. For the first time an intestine-like macrophage-phenotype could be induced in vitro. Interactions with IECs play an essential role during this differentiation, which is of functional relevance, e.g., for LPS-induced cytokine secretion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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