Author(s): FingerleRowson G, Angstwurm M, Andreesen R, ZieglerHeitbrock HW
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Abstract Glucocorticoids (GC) are potent anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive agents that act on many cells of the body, including monocytes. Here we show that a 5-day course of high dose GC therapy differentially affected the CD14++ and the CD14+ CD16+ monocyte subpopulations in 10 patients treated for multiple sclerosis. While the classical (CD14++) monocytes exhibited a substantial increase from 495 +/- 132 to 755 +/- 337 cells/microl, the CD14+ CD16+ monocytes responded with a pronounced decrease from 36 +/- 15 to 2 +/- 3 cells/microl (P < 0.001). In 4/10 patients the CD14+ CD16+ monocytes fell below detection limits (<0.2 cells/microl). This observation was confirmed when the CD14+ CD16+ monocytes were identified by virtue of their low CD33 expression as these cells decreased as well. After discontinuation of GC therapy the CD14+ CD16+ monocytes reappeared and reached normal levels after 1 week. The profound depletion of CD14+ CD16+ monocytes by GC as described here is a novel effect of GC action in vivo and may contribute to GC-mediated immunosuppression. Determination of the number of this monocyte subset may also serve to monitor the effectiveness of GC therapy in patients requiring immunosuppressive treatment.
This article was published in Clin Exp Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology