Intermediate Monocytes in Acute Alcoholic Hepatitis Are Functionally Activated and Induce IL-17 Expression in CD4+ T Cells

Ashwin D. Dhanda, Emily L Williams, Euan Yates , Philippa J. P. Lait, Lauren P. Schewitz-Bowers, Doha Hegazy, Matthew E. Cramp , Peter L. Collins, Richard W. J. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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In humans, the three main circulating monocyte subsets are defined by their relative cell surface expression of CD14 and CD16. They are all challenging to study because their characteristics are strongly context specific, and this has led to a range of conflicting reports about their function, which is especially so for CD14++CD16+ (intermediate) monocytes. Ex vivo cultures are also often confounded by the concomitant use of immunosuppressive drugs. We therefore sought to characterize the phenotype and function of intermediate monocytes in the setting of acute inflammation prior to treatment in a cohort of 41 patients with acute alcoholic hepatitis (AH). Circulating intermediate monocytes were enriched in patients with AH and had an activated phenotype with enhanced expression of CCR2 and CD206 compared with healthy controls. Proinflammatory cytokine expression, including IL-1b and IL-23, was also higher than in healthy controls, but both classical (CD14++CD162) and intermediate monocytes in AH were refractory to TLR stimulation. Compared with healthy controls, both AH monocyte subsets had greater phagocytic capacity, enhanced ability to drive memory T cell proliferation in coculture, and skewed CD4+ T cells to express an increased ratio of IL-17/IFN-g. Furthermore, liver tissue from AH patients demonstrated an enrichment of monocytes including the intermediate subset
compared with controls. These data demonstrate that intermediate monocytes are expanded, functionally activated, induce CD4+T cell IL-17 expression, and are enriched in the liver of patients with AH.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Early online date13 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2019


  • alcoholic hepatitis
  • monocytes
  • T cells
  • glucocorticoids
  • TLR


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