Send to

Choose Destination
Arthritis Rheumatol. 2018 Dec;70(12):2003-2013. doi: 10.1002/art.40582.

Proinflammatory CX3CR1+CD59+Tumor Necrosis Factor-Like Molecule 1A+Interleukin-23+ Monocytes Are Expanded in Patients With Ankylosing Spondylitis and Modulate Innate Lymphoid Cell 3 Immune Functions.

Author information

Università di Palermo, Palermo, Italy.
Krembil Research Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute, Translational Research Institute, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Azienda Ospedaliera Ospedali Riuniti Villa Sofia-Cervello, Palermo, Palermo, Italy.
University of L'Aquila, L'Aquila, Italy.
University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Krembil Research Institute, University of Toronto, and University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



Gut-derived innate lymphoid cell 3 (ILC3) has been shown to participate in the pathogenesis of ankylosing spondylitis (AS). CX3 CR1+ mononuclear phagocytes (MNPs) have been demonstrated to modulate ILC3 function in the gut. This study was undertaken to investigate the role of proinflammatory CX3 CR1+CD59+ MNPs in modulating ILC3 function in AS patients.


MNP subsets in the blood of AS patients and controls were analyzed by flow cytometry. The presence of CX3 CR1+CD59+ cells in tissue was confirmed by confocal microscopy. Expression of the proinflammatory chemokines CX3 CL1 and CCL2 and decoy receptor 6 (DcR-6) was analyzed. Peripheral CX3 CR1+CD59+ cells were cocultured with ILC3, and changes in their frequency were evaluated by flow cytometry. Transcriptome analysis of circulating CX3 CR1+ monocytes was also performed.


DcR-6 deficiency and CCL2 overexpression were observed in inflamed tissues from AS patients. In the gut, the proinflammatory CX3 CR1+CD59+ MNP population was expanded, correlated with the presence of bacteria, and produced high levels of tumor necrosis factor-like molecule 1A (TL1A) and interleukin-23 (IL-23). MNPs positive for CD11b, CD11c, and major histocompatibility complex class II, predominantly expressing CX3 CR1, were also expanded in the small intestines of treatment-naive SKG relative to BALB/c mice. The frequency of gut-derived CX3 CR1+CD59+CCR9+TL1A+IL-23+ MNPs was significantly higher in the peripheral blood and synovial fluid of AS patients than controls. CCR9+CX3 CR1+CD59+ monocytes were also expanded in AS synovial and bone marrow samples. Transcriptome analysis of isolated CX3 CR1+CD59+ monocytes demonstrated a specific proinflammatory profile in AS. Isolated proinflammatory CX3 CR1+CD59+ MNPs from AS patients induced the expansion and activation of ILC3.


Proinflammatory CX3 CR1+CD59+TL1A+IL-23+ MNPs are expanded in AS patients and display a specific proinflammatory transcriptome profile. Given the ability of these cells to support ILC3 expansion, they may promote a sustained proinflammatory status in AS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center