Novel CD11b+Gr-1+Sca-1+ myeloid cells drive mortality in bacterial infection

Sci Adv. 2020 Jan 22;6(4):eaax8820. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aax8820. eCollection 2020 Jan.


Extreme pathophysiological stressors induce expansion of otherwise infrequent leukocyte populations. Here, we found a previously unidentified CD11b+Gr-1+ myeloid cell population that expresses stem cell antigen-1 (Sca-1) induced upon experimental infection with Staphylococcus aureus. Although CD11b+Gr-1+Sca-1+ cells have impaired migratory capacity and superoxide anion-producing activity, they secrete increased levels of several cytokines and chemokines compared to Sca-1- counterparts. The generation of CD11b+Gr-1+Sca-1+ cells is dependent on IFN-γ in vivo, and in vitro stimulation of bone marrow cells or granulocyte-macrophage progenitors with IFN-γ generated CD11b+Gr-1+Sca-1+ cells. Depletion of CD11b+Gr-1+Sca-1+ cells by administrating anti-Sca-1 antibody strongly increased survival rates in an S. aureus infection model by reducing organ damage and inflammatory cytokines. However, adoptive transfer of CD11b+Gr-1+Sca-1+ cells decreased survival rates by worsening the pathogenesis of S. aureus infection. Together, we found a previously unidentified pathogenic CD11b+Gr-1+Sca-1+ population that plays an essential role in mortality during bacterial infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adoptive Transfer
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Ly / metabolism
  • Bacterial Infections / etiology*
  • Bacterial Infections / metabolism
  • Bacterial Infections / mortality*
  • Biomarkers*
  • CD11b Antigen / metabolism
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Myeloid Cells / immunology*
  • Myeloid Cells / metabolism
  • Phenotype
  • Prognosis
  • Staphylococcal Infections / immunology
  • Staphylococcal Infections / metabolism
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Staphylococcal Infections / mortality
  • Staphylococcus aureus / immunology
  • Superoxides / metabolism


  • Antigens, Ly
  • Biomarkers
  • CD11b Antigen
  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Itgam protein, mouse
  • Ly6a protein, mouse
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Superoxides