CD14brightCD16+ intermediate monocytes are induced by interleukin-10 and positively correlate with disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis

Masako Tsukamoto, Noriyuki Seta, Keiko Yoshimoto, Katsuya Suzuki, Kunihiro Yamaoka, Tsutomu Takeuchi

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62 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Three different subsets of circulating human monocytes, CD14brightCD16- (classical), CD14brightCD16+ (intermediate), and CD14dimCD16+ (non-classical) have been recently identified. It has been reported that CD14brightCD16+ monocytes are increased in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, the role of each monocyte subset in the pathogenesis of RA is still unclear. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association of CD14brightCD16+ monocytes with RA. Methods: The study enrolled 35 patients with RA and 14 healthy volunteers. The three subsets of peripheral blood monocytes were analyzed by flow cytometry. Serum cytokines were measured at baseline in patients with RA and in healthy volunteers. CD14brightCD16- monocytes were isolated and cultured in vitro with different cytokines for 14 hours, and CD16 induction was assessed. Results: The proportion of CD14brightCD16+ monocytes, and serum interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, and IL-10 were increased in patients with RA compared to healthy controls. The proportion of CD14brightCD16+ monocytes correlated with the disease activity of RA positively, whereas the proportion of CD14brightCD16- monocytes correlated negatively. When isolated CD14brightCD16- monocytes were stimulated with IL-6, IL-8, and IL-10, the only cytokine that significantly induced CD16 expression on the cells was IL-10. Conclusions: The proportion of CD16brightCD14+ monocytes was positively correlated with RA disease activity. The expression of CD16 in monocytes was induced by IL-10 but not IL-6, and IL-8 was enhanced in the sera of patients with RA. Our results suggest that CD16brightCD14+ monocytes are involved in the pathogenesis of RA and that IL-10 is a key cytokine that regulates CD16 expression in monocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number28
JournalArthritis Research and Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Feb 10


  • CD16
  • Interleukin-10
  • Monocytes
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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