The coexpression analysis of the 55-kDa lipopolysaccharide receptor (CD14) and the Fcγ-receptor III (CD16) reveals a broad heterogeneity of blood monocytes which in our previous work could be divided into five subpopulations based on correlated differences in expression of the pan-myeloid antigen CD33 and the adhesion antigens CD11a, CD11b and CD56. An even larger complexity of myeloid cells with antigen presenting capacity in peripheral blood is suggested by the description of small populations of immature and mature precursors of dendritic cells which rapidly develop potent costimulatory activity and a dendritic morphology in in vitro culture. The identity of the subsets of cells which have been described based on heterogeneous analytical approaches, however, remains unclear. The goal of this study, therefore, was the correlated analysis of monocyte subpopulations and dendritic cell precursors in a quantitative whole blood assay. This was achieved based on simultaneous expression analysis of the monocyte markers CD14 and CD16 with antigens such as CD33, HLA-DR, the integrin CD11c, and the interleukin-3 receptor α-chain (CD123) which in absence of lineage-related antigens have been used for description of dendritic cell precursors. The selected marker panel revealed identity of cells previously described as CD33(bright)CD14(dim) dendritic cell precursors with CD11c+lin-HLA-DR+ cells. Dendritic cell precursors considered to be less mature which have been alternatively described as CD33+ CD14(dim)CD16- cells or CD123(hi) dendritic cell precursors, however, were shown to differ in phenotype from each other with regard to expression density of CD33 and expression of CD14. In summary, our study revealed a complex heterogeneity of monocytes and dendritic cell precursors in peripheral blood and indicates that a direct comparison of the analytical approaches of different authors is needed to further clarify the ontogeny of human monocytes and dendritic cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy