Monocyte subsets: Phenotypes and function in tuberculosis infection.

Pavithra, S.; Kadar, M.; Uma Devi, R.; Ramalingam, B.

Frontiers in Immunology; 2018; 9: 1726.

Abstract: Monocytes are critical defense components that play an important role in the primary innate immune response. The heterogeneous nature of monocytes and their ability to differentiate into either monocyte-derived macrophages or monocyte-derived dendritic cells allows them to serve as a bridge between the innate and adaptive immune responses. Current studies of monocytes based on immunofluorescence, single-cell RNA sequencing and whole mass spectrometry finger printing reveals different classification systems for monocyte subsets. In humans, three circulating monocyte subsets are classified based on relative expression levels of CD14 and CD16 surface proteins, namely classical, intermediate and non-classical subsets. Transcriptomic analyses of these subsets help to define their distinct functional properties. Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease instigated by the deadly pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Current research on monocytes in TB has indicated that there are alterations in the frequency of intermediate and non-classical subsets suggesting their impact in bacterial persistence. In this review, we will focus on these monocyte subsets, including their classification, frequency distribution, cytokine profiles, role as a biomarker and will comment on future directions for understanding the salient phenotypic and functional properties relevant to TB pathogenesis.


Keywords: Monocyte subsets; CD14+ monocytes; CD16+ monocytes; Biomarkers for tuberculosis; Monocyte to lymphocyte ratio; Monocyte signatures; Mycobacterium tuberculosis


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