Immunophenotyping of Monocytes During Human Sepsis Shows Impairment in Antigen Presentation: A Shift Toward Nonclassical Differentiation and Upregulation of FCγRi-Receptor

Shock. 2018 Sep;50(3):293-300. doi: 10.1097/SHK.0000000000001078.


Monocytes and macrophages are pivotal in the host response to sepsis, recognizing the infecting microorganism and triggering an inflammatory response. These functions are, at least in part, modulated by the expression of cell surface receptors. We aimed to characterize the monocyte phenotype from septic patients during an ongoing sepsis process and its association with clinical outcomes. Sixty-one septic patients and 31 healthy volunteers (HVs) were enrolled in the study. Samples were obtained from patients at baseline (D0, N = 61), and after 7 (D7, N = 36) and 14 days of therapy (D14, N = 22). Monocytes from septic patients presented decreased expression of CD86, HLA-DR, CD200R, CCR2, CXCR2, and CD163 compared with HV monocytes. In contrast, the PD-1, PD-L1, CD206, CD64, and CD16 expression levels were upregulated in patients. HLA-DR, CD64, PD-1, and PD-L1 expression levels were higher in survivors than in nonsurvivors. Increased CD86, HLA-DR, and CXCR2 expression levels were observed in follow-up samples; in contrast, CD64 and CD16 GMFI decreased over time. In conclusion, monocytes from septic patients show antigen presentation impairment as characterized by decreased HLA-DR and costimulatory CD86 expression and increased PD-1 and PD-L1 expression. On the contrary, increased monocyte inflammatory and phagocytic activities may be inferred by the increased CD16 and CD64 expression. We found conflicting results regarding differentiation toward the M2 phenotype, with increased CD206 expression and decreased CD163 expression on monocytes from septic patients, whereas the subset of nonclassical monocytes was demonstrated by increased CD16.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antigen Presentation*
  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monocytes / immunology*
  • Monocytes / pathology
  • Receptors, IgG / immunology*
  • Sepsis / immunology*
  • Sepsis / pathology
  • Up-Regulation / immunology*


  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • Receptors, IgG