Production of MHCII-expressing classical monocytes increases during aging in mice and humans

Aging Cell. 2022 Oct;21(10):e13701. doi: 10.1111/acel.13701. Epub 2022 Aug 30.


Aging is associated with increased monocyte production and altered monocyte function. Classical monocytes are heterogenous and a shift in their subset composition may underlie some of their apparent functional changes during aging. We have previously shown that mouse granulocyte-monocyte progenitors (GMPs) produce "neutrophil-like" monocytes (NeuMo), whereas monocyte-dendritic cell progenitors (MDPs) produce monocyte-derived dendritic cell (moDC)-producing monocytes (DCMo). Here, we demonstrate that classical monocytes from the bone marrow of old male and female mice have higher expression of DCMo signature genes (H2-Aa, H2-Ab1, H2-Eb1, Cd74), and that more classical monocytes express MHCII and CD74 protein. Moreover, we show that bone marrow MDPs and classical monocytes from old mice yield more moDC. We also demonstrate higher expression of Aw112010 in old monocytes and that Aw112010 lncRNA activity regulates MHCII induction in macrophages, which suggests that elevated Aw112010 levels may underlie increased MHCII expression during monocyte aging. Finally, we show that classical monocyte expression of MHCII is also elevated during healthy aging in humans. Thus, aging-associated changes in monocyte production may underlie altered monocyte function and have implications for aging-associated disorders.

Keywords: aging; bone marrow progenitors; monocytes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Dendritic Cells
  • Female
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Humans
  • Macrophages
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Monocytes* / metabolism
  • RNA, Long Noncoding* / metabolism


  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II