Human Monocytes - CD14, CD16 - Ziegler-Heitbrock


Antimicrobial peptide LL-37 along with peptidoglycan drive monocyte polarization toward CD14(high)CD16(+) subset and may play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of psoriasis guttata.


The human cathelicidin LL-37 peptide is overexpressed in psoriasis and has been demonstrated to be a multifunctional modulator of innate immune response elements, including monocytes. Monocytes, categorized into three populations based on the cell surface expression of CD14 and CD16, are activated in psoriasis guttate and are commonly triggered by streptococcal infections. Peptidoglycan (PGN) is a major cell-wall component of streptococcus, and an increasing number of PGN-containing cells have been detected in psoriasis. Since there are independent reports of both PGN and LL-37 influencing monocytes, we tried to evaluate the effect of human LL-37 on PGN-induced monocyte activity and differentiation and subsequently studied their correlation with the pathogenesis of psoriasis guttate. The results revealed that monocytes from the peripheral blood of healthy individuals resulted in their polarization toward the CD14(high)CD16(+) subset, when cultured with PGN in the presence of the LL-37 peptide. This peptide further induced PGN-driven differentiated monocytes into immature dendritic cells (iDC), as evident by the increased expression of CD1a, CD86, and HLA-DR markers, resulting in the induction of T cell proliferation and Th17 polarization. Furthermore, our data suggested that psoriasis guttata patients have significantly higher percentages of CD14(high)CD16(+) monocytes as well as circulating levels of LL-37, soluble form of triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells (sTREM-1) levels, and anti-streptolysin O (ASO) levels, as compared to healthy controls. Psoriasis guttata patients also showed a positive correlation between the percentage of CD14(high)CD16(+) monocytes and the serum levels of sTREM-1 as well as the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) scores. Therefore, we concluded that LL-37 in synergy with PGN directs monocyte polarization and differentiation into a proinflammatory phenotype, which might play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of psoriasis.

Authors: Qian L, Chen W, Sun W, Li M, Zheng R, Qian Q, Lv L.
Journal: Am J Transl Res;7:1081-94
Year: 2015
PubMed: Find in PubMed