Three different neutrophil subsets exhibited in mice with different susceptibilities to infection by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Immunity. 2004 Aug;21(2):215-26. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2004.07.006.


Neutrophils (PMN) have been described as critical effector cells in the host's antibacterial innate immunities. However, the classification of murine PMNs remains unclear. Here, we show that in addition to normal PMN (PMN-N), there are at least two distinct subsets of PMNs (PMN-I and PMN-II) distinguished as follows: (1) cytokine and chemokine production (PMN-I, IL-12/CCL3; PMN-II, IL-10/CCL2; PMN-N, no cytokine/chemokine production), (2) macrophage activation (PMN-I, classically activated macrophages; PMN-II, alternatively activated macrophages; PMN-N, no effect on macrophage activation), (3) Toll-like receptor (TLR) expression (PMN-I, TLR2/TLR4/TLR5/TLR8; PMN-II, TLR2/TLR4/TLR7/TLR9; PMN-N, TLR2/TLR4/TLR9), and (4) surface antigen expression (PMN-I, CD49d(+)CD11b-; PMN-II, CD49d(-)CD11b+; PMN-N, CD49d(-)CD11b-). PMN-I was obtained from MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)-resistant hosts, while MRSA-sensitive hosts were a source of PMN-II. PMN-N was obtained from naive mice. Anti-MRSA innate immunities might be influenced differently by these biochemically and physically distinguished PMNs. PMN-N may convert to PMN-I or PMN-II in response to host circumstance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology
  • Disease Susceptibility / immunology
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology
  • Immunity, Innate / physiology
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Methicillin / pharmacology*
  • Methicillin Resistance / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Neutrophil Activation
  • Neutrophils / immunology*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / immunology*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / pathology
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Staphylococcus aureus / pathogenicity*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Methicillin