CD169 Defines Activated CD14+ Monocytes With Enhanced CD8+ T Cell Activation Capacity

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Monocytes are antigen-presenting cells (APCs) that play diverse roles in promoting or regulating inflammatory responses, but their role in T cell stimulation is not well defined. In inflammatory conditions, monocytes frequently show increased expression of CD169/Siglec-1, a type-I interferon (IFN-I)-regulated protein. However, little is known about the phenotype and function of these CD169+ monocytes. Here, we have investigated the phenotype of human CD169+ monocytes in different diseases, their capacity to activate CD8+ T cells, and the potential for a targeted-vaccination approach. Using spectral flow cytometry, we detected CD169 expression by CD14+ CD16- classical and CD14+ CD16+ intermediate monocytes and unbiased analysis showed that they were distinct from dendritic cells, including the recently described CD14-expressing DC3. CD169+ monocytes expressed higher levels of co-stimulatory and HLA molecules, suggesting an increased activation state. IFNα treatment highly upregulated CD169 expression on CD14+ monocytes and boosted their capacity to cross-present antigen to CD8+ T cells. Furthermore, we observed CD169+ monocytes in virally-infected patients, including in the blood and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of COVID-19 patients, as well as in the blood of patients with different types of cancers. Finally, we evaluated two CD169-targeting nanovaccine platforms, antibody-based and liposome-based, and we showed that CD169+ monocytes efficiently presented tumor-associated peptides gp100 and WT1 to antigen-specific CD8+ T cells. In conclusion, our data indicate that CD169+ monocytes are activated monocytes with enhanced CD8+ T cell stimulatory capacity and that they emerge as an interesting target in nanovaccine strategies, because of their presence in health and different diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number697840
Pages (from-to)697840
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2021

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