Plasmacytoid monocytes migrate to inflamed lymph nodes and produce large amounts of type I interferon

Nat Med. 1999 Aug;5(8):919-23. doi: 10.1038/11360.


We have identified two cell subsets in human blood based on the lack of lineage markers (lin-) and the differential expression of immunoglobulin-like transcript receptor 1 (ILT1) and ILT3. One subset (lin-/ILT3+/ILT1+) is related to myeloid dendritic cells. The other subset (lin-/ILT3+/ILT1+) corresponds to 'plasmacytoid monocytes'. These cells are found in inflamed lymph nodes in and around the high endothelial venules. They express CD62L and CXCR3, and produce extremely large amounts of type I interferon after stimulation with influenza virus or CD40L. These results, with the distinct cell phenotype, indicate that plasmacytoid monocytes represent a specialized cell lineage that enters inflamed lymph nodes at high endothelial venules, where it produces type I interferon. Plasmacytoid monocytes may protect other cells from viral infections and promote survival of antigen-activated T cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, CD / biosynthesis
  • CD40 Ligand
  • Cell Lineage
  • Cell Movement / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Interferon Type I / biosynthesis*
  • L-Selectin / biosynthesis
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / immunology
  • Monocytes / classification
  • Monocytes / cytology
  • Monocytes / immunology*
  • Monocytes / metabolism*
  • Orthomyxoviridae / immunology
  • Plasma Cells / classification
  • Plasma Cells / cytology
  • Plasma Cells / immunology
  • Plasma Cells / metabolism
  • Receptors, CXCR3
  • Receptors, Cell Surface*
  • Receptors, Chemokine / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Immunologic / biosynthesis
  • Venules / pathology


  • Antigens, CD
  • CXCR3 protein, human
  • Interferon Type I
  • LILRA2 protein, human
  • LILRB4 protein, human
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Receptors, CXCR3
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Chemokine
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • L-Selectin
  • CD40 Ligand