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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Human macrophage maturation and heterogeneity: analysis with a newly generated set of monoclonal antibodies to differentiation antigens.

We have analyzed the expression of late differentiation antigens during terminal in vitro maturation of human macrophages (M phi) from blood monocytes (MO) in comparison to their distribution among mature M phi residing in various tissue sites. By immunizing mice with M phi derived from blood MO by culture on hydrophobic Teflon foils, monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) were developed (MAX.1, MAX.2, MAX.3, MAX.11) that reacted with lineage-restricted differentiation antigens. These antigens were expressed exclusively on M phi or were markedly increased after in vitro differentiation. The only overlap to another hemopoietic cell lineage was observed with MAX.3, which is shared by platelets and megakaryocytes. In the course of M phi maturation in vitro, the MAX.1 and MAX.3 antigens are detected within the cytoplasm two days before they appear on the cell surface. In contrast, the MAX.11 antigen is expressed simultaneously in the cytoplasm and at the cell surface, is found in varying degrees on a minor portion of blood MO and U937 cells, and is expressed rapidly at high density during early M phi differentiation in vitro. Among conventional mAbs that do not react with MO we found those against the transferrin (TF)-receptor, the BA-2, and the PCA1 antigen to label M phi. M phi matured in vivo and isolated from body fluids were positive with some but not all MAX mAbs. Distinctive patterns were observed with pulmonary M phi, exudate M phi from pleural and peritoneal effusions, synovial fluids, and early lactation milk. M phi from the alveolar space, for example, constantly expressed the MAX.2 antigen but not the MAX.3 antigen. Pleural effusion M phi, however, did not react with the MAX.1 mAb, but in most cases, it did react with the MAX.3 mAb. The detection of novel differentiation antigens, all expressed on monocyte-derived M phi but differently expressed on site-specific M phi in situ, underlines the remarkable heterogeneity among human M phi. The expression of these antigens is flexible because those MAX antigens that were not expressed in situ could be induced if cells from distinct tissue sites were cultured in vitro for several days. MAX mAbs may be of potential value to study both the sequential stages of maturation within the M phi lineage as well as differential developments induced by various culture conditions in parallel to environmental factors in vivo.[1]


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