Primate Monocytes - CD14, CD16 - Ziegler-Heitbrock


Biophysical phenotyping of circulating immune cells identifies a distinct monocyte-driven signature in systemic sclerosis.


OBJECTIVES: Pathologically activated circulating immune cells, including monocytes, play major roles in systemic sclerosis (SSc). Their functional characterization can provide crucial information with direct clinical relevance. However, tools for evaluation of pathologic immune cell activation and, in general, of clinical outcomes in SSc are scarce. Biophysical phenotyping (including characterization of cell mechanics and morphology) provides access to a novel, mostly unexplored layer of information regarding physio-pathological immune cell activation. We hypothesized that the biophysical phenotyping of circulating immune cells, reflecting their pathologic activation, can be used as a clinical tool in SSc. METHODS: We performed biophysical phenotyping of circulating immune cells by real-time fluorescence and deformability cytometry (RT-FDC) in 63 SSc patients, 59 rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, 28 ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV) patients and 22 age- and sex-matched healthy donors. RESULTS: We identified a specific signature of biophysical properties of circulating immune cells in SSc mainly driven by monocytes. Since it is absent in RA and AAV, this signature reflects an SSc-specific monocyte activation rather than general inflammation. The biophysical properties of monocytes indicate current disease activity, the extent of skin or lung fibrosis and the severity of manifestations of microvascular damage, as well as the risk of disease progression in SSc. CONCLUSION: Changes in biophysical properties of circulating immune cells reflect their pathologic activation in SSc and are associated with clinical outcomes. As a high throughput approach that requires minimal preparations, RT-FDC-based biophysical phenotyping of monocytes can serve as a tool for evaluation and risk stratification of patients with SSc.

Authors: Matei AE, Kubánková M, Xu L, Györfi AH, Boxberger E, Soteriou D, Papava M, Prater J, Hong X, Bergmann C, Kräter M, Schett G, Guck J, Distler JHW,
Journal: Arthritis Rheumatol;2023 Oct25. doi:10.1002/art.42394
Year: 2023
PubMed: PMID: 36281753 (Go to PubMed)