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PLoS One. 2016 Nov 28;11(11):e0164489. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0164489. eCollection 2016.

Downregulation of Blood Monocyte HLA-DR in ICU Patients Is Also Present in Bone Marrow Cells.

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Inserm, U 1160, Paris, France.
University Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris, France.
AP-HP, Hôpital Lariboisière, Département d'Anesthésie - Réanimation - SMUR, Paris, France.



The downregulation of blood monocyte HLA-DR expression also occurs in tissue infiltrative cells in a context of acute clinical inflammation, especially sepsis. This context favors the development of secondary infections and results from various mechanisms. Little is known about HLA-DR expression on bone marrow (BM) cells of the monocyte lineage, the source of circulating monocytes. This study analyzed the BM HLA-DR expression in ICU patients compared to BM monocytes from non-ICU patients and to blood monocytes of control healthy donors. A potential dysfunction of myeloid differentiation was investigated in a sub-population of these ICU patients to characterize the phenotype of the immature forms of monocytes and granulocytes in BM.


BM and blood were drawn from 33 ICU and 9 non-ICU patients having a BM analysis to precise the etiology of abnormal low count in blood cells. The data were compared with blood cells of 28 control donors. Flow cytometry was used for both HLA-DR expression and phenotyping of immature forms of monocytes and granulocytes. HLA-DR expression was downregulated in both blood and BM monocyte in ICU patients compared to BM of non-ICU patients and blood of control donors. Amplitude of HLA-DR downregulation was comparable in septic and non-septic ICU patients. The phenotype of immature forms of monocytes and granulocytes in BM (n = 11) did not show abnormal myeloid (monocyte + granulocyte) differentiation.


The downregulation of HLA-DR in BM monocyte lineage is present in ICU patients without major changes in myeloid cells. It may result from a regulation mediated by soluble and/or neuro-endocrine factors present in BM cell microenvironment.

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