During inflammation, neutrophils are rapidly mobilized from the bone marrow storage pool into peripheral blood (PB) to enter lesional sites, where most rapidly undergo apoptosis. Monocytes constitute a second wave of inflammatory immigrates, giving rise to long-lived macrophages and dendritic cell subsets. According to descriptive immunophenotypic and cell culture studies, neutrophils may directly "transdifferentiate" into monocytes/macrophages. We provide mechanistic data in human and murine models supporting the existence of this cellular pathway. First, the inflammatory signal-induced MKK6-p38MAPK cascade activates a monocyte differentiation program in human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor-dependent neutrophils. Second, adoptively transferred neutrophils isolated from G-CSF-pretreated mice rapidly acquired monocyte characteristics in response to inflammatory signals in vivo. Consistently, inflammatory signals led to the recruitment of osteoclast progenitor cell potential from ex vivo-isolated G-CSF-mobilized human blood neutrophils. Monocytic cell differentiation potential was retained in left-shifted band-stage neutrophils but lost in neutrophils from steady-state PB. MKK6-p38MAPK signaling in HL60 model cells led to diminishment of the transcription factor C/EBP?, which enabled the induction of a monocytic cell differentiation program. Gene profiling confirmed lineage conversion from band-stage neutrophils to monocytic cells. Therefore, inflammatory signals relayed by the MKK6-p38MAPK cascade induce monocytic cell differentiation from band-stage neutrophils.
Phagocytosis and inflammation within the lungs is crucial for host defense during bacterial pneumonia. Triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells (TREM)-2 was proposed to negatively regulate TLR-mediated responses and enhance phagocytosis by macrophages, but the role of TREM-2 in respiratory tract infections is unknown. Here, we established the presence of TREM-2 on alveolar macrophages (AM) and explored the function of TREM-2 in the innate immune response to pneumococcal infection in vivo. Unexpectedly, we found Trem-2-/- AM to display augmented bacterial phagocytosis in vitro and in vivo compared to WT AM. Mechanistically, we detected that in the absence of TREM-2, pulmonary macrophages selectively produced elevated complement component 1q (C1q) levels. We found that these increased C1q levels depended on peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-? (PPAR-?) activity and were responsible for the enhanced phagocytosis of bacteria. Upon infection with S. pneumoniae, Trem-2-/- mice exhibited an augmented bacterial clearance from lungs, decreased bacteremia and improved survival compared to their WT counterparts. This work is the first to disclose a role for TREM-2 in clinically relevant respiratory tract infections and demonstrates a previously unknown link between TREM-2 and opsonin production within the lungs.
Neutrophilic granulocytes and monocytes (granulomonocytic cells; GMC) drive the inflammatory process at the earliest stages of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The migratory behavior and functional properties of GMC within the synovial tissue are, however, only incompletely characterized. Here we have analyzed GMC in the murine collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) model of RA using multi-photon real time in vivo microscopy together with ex vivo analysis of GMC in tissue sections.GMC were abundant as soon as clinical arthritis was apparent. GMC were motile and migrated randomly through the synovial tissue. In addition, we observed the frequent formation of cell clusters consisting of both neutrophilic granulocytes and monocytes that actively contributed to the inflammatory process of arthritis. Treatment of animals with a single dose of prednisolone reduced the mean velocity of cell migration and diminished the overall immigration of GMC.In summary, our study shows that the combined application of real time in vivo microscopy together with elaborate static post-mortem analysis of GMC enables the description of dynamic migratory characteristics of GMC together with their precise location in a complex anatomical environment. Moreover, this approach is sensitive enough to detect subtle therapeutic effects within a very short period of time.
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