Pattern of human monocyte subpopulations in health and disease

Scand J Immunol. 2020 Jul;92(1):e12883. doi: 10.1111/sji.12883. Epub 2020 May 5.


Monocytes are important cells of the innate system. They are a heterogeneous type of cells consisting of phenotypically and functionally distinct subpopulations, which play a specific role in the control, development and escalation of the immunological processes. Based on the expression of superficial CD14 and CD16 in flow cytometry, they can be divided into three subsets: classical, intermediate and non-classical. Variation in the levels of human monocyte subsets in the blood can be observed in patients in numerous pathological states, such as infections, cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases, cancer and autoimmune diseases. The aim of this review is to summarize current knowledge of human monocyte subsets and their significance in homeostasis and in pathological conditions.

Keywords: CD14; CD16; classical monocytes; intermediate monocytes; monocyte classification; monocyte subsets; non-classical monocytes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Colony-Stimulating Factors / biosynthesis
  • Colony-Stimulating Factors / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology*
  • Macrophages / cytology
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Monocytes / classification*
  • Monocytes / cytology
  • Monocytes / immunology*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / immunology


  • Colony-Stimulating Factors
  • Receptors, Cell Surface