Interleukin-1β triggers the differentiation of macrophages with enhanced capacity to present mycobacterial antigen to T cells

Immunology. 2014 Feb;141(2):174-80. doi: 10.1111/imm.12167.


The rapid differentiation of monocytes into macrophages (MΦ) and dendritic cells is a pivotal aspect of the innate immune response. Differentiation is triggered following recognition of microbial ligands that activate pattern recognition receptors or directly by pro-inflammatory cytokines. We demonstrate that interleukin-1β (IL-1β) induces the rapid differentiation of monocytes into CD209(+) MΦ, similar to activation via Toll-like receptor 2/1, but with distinct phenotypic and functional characteristics. The IL-1β induced MΦ express higher levels of key markers of phagocytosis, including the Fc-receptors CD16 and CD64, as well as CD36, CD163 and CD206. In addition, IL-1β-induced MΦ exert potent phagocytic activity towards inert particles, oxidized low-density lipoprotein and mycobacteria. Furthermore, IL-1β-induced MΦ express higher levels of HLA-DR and effectively present mycobacterial antigens to T cells. Therefore, the ability of IL-1β to induce monocyte differentiation into MΦ with both phagocytosis and antigen-presenting function is a distinct part of the innate immune response in host defence against microbial infection.

Keywords: antigen presentation; infection; innate immunity; macrophages/monocytes; mycobacteria/Mycobacterium.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigen Presentation*
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / analysis
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-1beta / pharmacology*
  • Lectins, C-Type / analysis
  • Macrophages / cytology
  • Macrophages / drug effects*
  • Macrophages / physiology
  • Monocytes / cytology
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / immunology*
  • Phagocytosis
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / analysis
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Toll-Like Receptor 2 / physiology


  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • DC-specific ICAM-3 grabbing nonintegrin
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • Lectins, C-Type
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • TLR2 protein, human
  • Toll-Like Receptor 2