Absence of Nonclassical Monocytes in Hemolytic Patients: Free Hb and NO-Mediated Mechanism

J Immunol Res. 2019 Mar 27;2019:1409383. doi: 10.1155/2019/1409383. eCollection 2019.


In a recent work, we have described the kinetics among the monocyte subsets in the peripheral blood of hemolytic patients including paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) and sickle cell disease (SCD). After engulfing Hb-activated platelets, classical monocytes (CD14+CD16-) significantly transformed into highly inflammatory (CD14+CD16hi) subsets in vitro. An estimated 40% of total circulating monocytes in PNH and 70% in SCD patients existed as CD14+CD16hi subsets. In this study, we show that the nonclassical (CD14dimCD16+) monocyte subsets are nearly absent in patients with PNH or SCD, compared to 10-12% cells in healthy individuals. In mechanism, we have described the unique role of both free Hb and nitric oxide (NO) in reducing number of nonclassical subsets more than classical monocytes. After engulfing Hb-activated platelets, the monocytes including nonclassical subsets acquired rapid cell death within 12 h in vitro. Further, the treatment to monocytes either with the secretome of Hb-activated platelets containing NO and free Hb or purified free Hb along with GSNO (a physiological NO donor) enhanced rapid cell death. Besides, our data from both PNH and SCD patients exhibited a direct correlation between intracellular NO and cell death marker 7AAD in monocytes from the peripheral blood. Our data together suggest that due to the immune surveillance nature, the nonclassical or patrolling monocytes are encountered frequently by Hb-activated platelets, free Hb, and NO in the circulation of hemolytic patients and are predisposed to die rapidly.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Apoptosis
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Female
  • Hemoglobins / analysis*
  • Hemoglobinuria, Paroxysmal / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Monocytes / cytology*
  • Nitric Oxide / blood*
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Hemoglobins
  • Nitric Oxide