A novel subpopulation of monocyte-like cells in the human lung after LPS inhalation

M Brittan, L Barr, A Conway Morris, R Duffin, F Rossi, S Johnston, G Monro, N Anderson, A G Rossi, D F McAuley, C Haslett, N Hirani, K Dhaliwal, A J Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The co-ordinated recruitment of monocyte subpopulations, neutrophils and regulatory T cells (Tregs) during the early stages of human acute lung inflammation remains poorly understood. We therefore performed a detailed characterisation of these lineages in the blood and lungs in a model of human acute lung inflammation.Healthy volunteers inhaled LPS or saline (n=6 for each group). Blood was collected at 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8 hours and bronchoscopy with bronchoalveolar lavage performed at 8 hours. Multiparameter flow cytometry was used to characterise monocyte subpopulations, neutrophils and Tregs in the blood and lung.Inhalation of LPS was associated with significant blood and BAL fluid neutrophilia. Blood populations of monocyte subpopulations and Tregs were unaltered by LPS. In contrast, LPS induced an accumulation of a pulmonary monocyte-like cell (PMLC) population, which was further subdivided into "inducible" CD14(++)CD16(-) and "resident" CD14(++)CD16(+) subsets. Inducible PMLCs were significantly increased following LPS inhalation (p=0.0046), whereas resident PMLCs were unchanged. In addition, we noted a significant decrease in Tregs in BAL fluid with LPS inhalation (p=0.027).The early stages of LPS-induced inflammation in humans is characterised by pulmonary accumulation of a novel inducible monocyte-like subpopulation, accompanied by significant changes in both neutrophil and Treg numbers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-214
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Acute lung inflammation
  • macrophages
  • monocytes

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